Functional Organization Of The Reticular Formation In The Control Of Posture
It is generally agreed that the reticulospinal tract contributes to regulation of the level of muscle tone. There may exist functional organization in the pontomedullary reticular formation in relation to the control of postural muscle tone . Direct recording of reticulospinal neurons revealed that those located in the dorso-medial part of the PMRF are active during the period of muscle tone suppression or muscular atonia , and those in the ventromedial part are active during reflex standing due to decerebrate rigidity or hypertonus . Accordingly, functional topographical organization may exist in the PMRF in the control of postural muscle tone. On the other hand, during MLR-elicited locomotion or spontaneously evoked locomotion in high-decerebrated preparation, RSNs located in both the dorsomedial and ventromedial PMRF were modulated in response to step cycles , indicating that muscle tone-related RSNs participate in the execution of locomotion so that locomotor rhythm and muscle tone can be simultaneously regulated by the reticulospinal system during locomotion.
Coordinating The Body’s Voluntary Movements
Movement is a complex process that requires a number of different muscle groups working together. Consider how many muscle groups are involved in the process of walking, running, or throwing a ball.
While the cerebellum is not thought to initiate movement, this part of the brain helps organize all of the actions of the muscle groups involved in a particular movement to ensure that the body is able to produce a fluid, coordinated movement. This includes eye movements and movements associated with speaking.
Role Of The Mesencephalic Area In The Control Of Posture And Locomotion
The MLR appears to be present in all classes of vertebrates . It likely includes the cuneiform nucleus and the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus , although the precise location of the locomotor regulation still remains a matter of debate. The PPN is located in the ventrolateral part of the caudal mesencephalic reticular formation, composed of a heterogeneous population of neurons, containing GABA and glutamate in addition to acetylcholine . Different neuronal types within the PPN area may have different functions with their own inter-connections to multiple parts of the brain. There are connections to cerebral cortex, multiple basal ganglia and limbic areas, the thalamus, the brainstem, the spinal cord and the cerebellum . This key location including multiple segregate functions, renders figuring out the precise function of these regions quite complicated .
Read Also: How To Know Your Brain Is Bleeding
How Does The Brain Work
The brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals throughout the body. Different signals control different processes, and your brain interprets each. Some make you feel tired, for example, while others make you feel pain.
Some messages are kept within the brain, while others are relayed through the spine and across the bodys vast network of nerves to distant extremities. To do this, the central nervous system relies on billions of neurons .
The Motor System And Primary Motor Cortex
The brains motor system is contained mostly in the frontal lobes. It starts with premotor areas, for planning and coordinating complex movements, and ends with the primary motor cortex, where the final output is sent down the spinal cord to cause contraction and movement of specific muscles.
The primary motor cortex on the left side of the brain controls movement of the right side of the body, and vice-versa, the right motor cortex controls movement of the left side of the body.
Different areas of the primary motor cortex connect to, and control, movement of different parts of the body, forming a kind of body map known as the homunculus.
The size of the area on the homunculus determines the level of fine movement control we have with that part of the body. So, for instance, a large proportion of the motor cortex is devoted to our thumb, fingers, mouth and lips, as they are vital for manipulating objects and speech articulation.
The connection from the primary motor cortex to muscles of the body is so important that any damage leads to an impaired ability to move. If someone suffers a stroke, for instance, that causes damage to the primary motor cortex on one side of their brain, they will develop an impaired ability to move on the opposite side of their body.
Don’t Miss: Shrinking Blood Vessels In Brain
Anatomy Of The Brain And Spine
Learn more about the anatomy and the functions of the brain and spine
- Information and support
- Anatomy of the brain and spine
The brain and spine are vital to keep the body alive and functioning. Everything we do depends on the messages that are sent from the brain, along the spinal cord and on to the rest of the body.
Neuroplasticity And Movement Rehabilitation
As with other parts of the brain, when neurons of the primary motor cortex are damaged they will never regrow or repair. However, the brain can heal itself and regain some lost function through neuroplasticity. This means undamaged parts can change their connections and remap to other areas of the body to take over function, compensating for damaged parts of the motor cortex.
Neuroplasticity is the fundamental principle in physical rehabilitation, such as physiotherapy for patients following stroke, that allows patients to regain motor function and recover. Through neuroplasticity, the more a particular movement is performed, the stronger the brain pathways for that movement become and the easier it gets to perform that movement in the future.
Lets look at an example of a stroke patient, Harry, who has problems with movement in his left leg. Harry might have altered patterns of walking due to damage in the leg area of the motor cortex of the right side of his brain. To help Harry regain efficient walking ability, the physiotherapist helps him perform sequences or patterns of walking by practising activation and control of specific muscle groups in his left leg.
This article was co-written with Zita Arends, who is a physiotherapist in stroke rehabilitation and aged care.
Read other articles in our Brain Control series, here.
You May Like: Can Brain Bleeds Cause Seizures
Functional Networks Of The Brain In Cognitivemotor Interaction
We have seen how motor and cognitive functions interact to support purposeful movement. Specific brain areas are less important anatomically than the nature of interregional communication and networking within the brain and nervous system. Cognitivemotor function is allowed through the interaction of disparately located brain regions in the adult brain, with hemispheric specialization being the developmental result of the necessity of the adult brain to optimize motor, cognitive, and perceptual skills.
Early childhood is marked by a lack of localized brain function and over the lifespan human skills become controlled by regional centers as a way of effecting better and optimized cognitive and motor performance.
Childhood brain development is characterized by exuberant connectivities between brain regions that continue throughout early development and even through adolescence . Neurological development in childhood allows for relatively rapid learning that will eventually be optimized for how well brain regions function in tandem, based on the effectiveness of neuronal connectivities. Current research has demonstrated that functional connectivities relate directly to cognitive functions associated with memory and reading ability .
The Basics Of The Vestibular System
Think of the vestibular system as a messenger service. Located in the inner ear, the vestibular system provides your brain with information on things like motion, the position of your head, and sudden movements. This helps you maintain your balance by ensuring that your brain processes your bodys position every time it changes. Overall, the vestibular system helps you maintain a sense of equilibrium, preventing falls and dizziness.
Read Also: Does Brain Freeze Cause Damage
What Are The Parts Of The Nervous System
The nervous system is made up of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system:
- The brain and the spinal cord are the central nervous system.
- The nerves that go through the whole body make up the peripheral nervous system.
The human brain is incredibly compact, weighing just 3 pounds. It has many folds and grooves, though. These give it the added surface area needed for storing the body’s important information.
The spinal cord is a long bundle of nerve tissue about 18 inches long and 1/2-inch thick. It extends from the lower part of the brain down through spine. Along the way, nerves branch out to the entire body.
Both the brain and the spinal cord are protected by bone: the brain by the bones of the skull, and the spinal cord by a set of ring-shaped bones called vertebrae. They’re both cushioned by layers of membranes called meninges and a special fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid helps protect the nerve tissue, keep it healthy, and remove waste products.
Speaking Slowly Or Slurring Words
If Brocas area is damaged, a person might find it difficult to produce the sounds of speech or may speak very slowly and slur their words. Speech is often limited to short sentences of less than four words. This is called Brocas aphasia or nonfluent aphasia.
Another cause is if stroke or injury damages the areas of the brain that control movements of the muscles of the mouth or tongue.
Don’t Miss: How Do Moose Get Brain Worm
Control By The Cerebral Cortex
While basic locomotor synergy was not largely disturbed if pyramidal tracts were bilaterally disconnected , skilled locomotor task was severely impaired. Liddell and Phillips found after unilateral or bilateral pyramidal lesions that the cats became helplessly immobile, unable to take a step without slipping or falling, when they were required to walk along a narrow beam or horizontal ladder. Such a skilled performance became more severely damaged by postcruciate than by precruciate lesions. After postcruciate lesions including both the somatosensory and parietal cortices, the cat refused to walk on narrow trucks . The precruciate area, which corresponds to supplementary motor area and premotor area of the primates, may be involved in movement initiation. On the other hand, the postcruciate cortices may utilize specific somatosensory inputs to fulfil a role in the regulation of ongoing movements in the manner of anticipatory or feed-forward adjustments . Skilled posture-gait control, therefore, can be achieved on the basis of knowledges of the orientation and motion of the body in space as well as motion perception and spatial localization of objects in extra-personal space . Such a knowledge is provided by integration of vestibular, somatosensory and visual sensory signals which occurs at both the cerebral cortex and cerebellum .
Anticipatory postural adjustment
Maintenance of vertical posture
What Are The Parts Of The Brain
Every second of every day the brain is collecting and sending out signals from and to the parts of your body. It keeps everything working even when we are sleeping at night. Here you can take a quick tour of this amazing control center. You can see each part and later learn what areas are involved with different tasks.
Also Check: Gabapentin And Memory Issues
Tumor In The Cerebellum
Tumors are abnormal cells that can either grow in the brain or migrate there from a different part of the body. These tumors might be benign and not spread through the body. Malignant tumors grow and spread, leading to cancer.
Symptoms of a tumor in the cerebellum include:
- a headache
- difficulties with coordination
Diagnosis and treatment will vary based on age, the overall state of health, the course of the disease, the potential outlook, and other factors.
Preserving overall brain health is the best way to avoid damage to the cerebellum.
Reducing the risk of stroke, brain injury, and exposure to poisons can help prevent some forms of ataxia.
- Quitting smoking: Smoking increases the risk of stroke by thickening the blood and raising blood pressure.
- Limiting alcohol use: Large amounts of alcohol can damage the cerebellum. Alcohol also raises blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity benefits the heart and blood vessels and reduces the risk of stroke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend
General Inability To Speak And Understand Language
Widespread damage to the brains language centers can result in global aphasia. People with global aphasia will have an extremely hard time expressing and understanding language.
People with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimers disease, often experience loss of speech slowly over time. This is called primary progressive aphasia .
PPA is not Alzheimers disease but can be a symptom of Alzheimers disease. PPA can also be an isolated disorder without the other symptoms of Alzheimers disease. Some people with PPA have normal memories and can continue leisure activities and sometimes even work.
Unlike aphasia that results from stroke or brain trauma, PPA results from slow deterioration of one or more areas of the brain used in speech and language.
You May Like: Does Simvastatin Cause Memory Loss
What Does The Brain Do
The brain controls what we think and feel, how we learn and remember, and the way we move and talk. But it also controls things we’re less aware of like the beating of our hearts and the digestion of our food.
Think of the brain as a central computer that controls all the body’s functions. The rest of the nervous system is like a network that relays messages back and forth from the brain to different parts of the body. It does this via the spinal cord, which runs from the brain down through the back. It contains threadlike nerves that branch out to every organ and body part.
When a message comes into the brain from anywhere in the body, the brain tells the body how to react. For example, if you touch a hot stove, the nerves in your skin shoot a message of pain to your brain. The brain then sends a message back telling the muscles in your hand to pull away. Luckily, this neurological relay race happens in an instant.
How Much Influence Does The Way They Raise Us In Making Decisions
Undoubtedly, another substantial bias in any decision is obedience, since throughout childhood, and even in the labor system, it is taught about the importance of following orders and mandates.
Consequently, the tendency to comply with the received provision is maintained even when not aware of it, and hence the buy now of some notices.
Everything is closely linked to authority, and the influence capacity of reference groups can be observed, where the need to belong makes what is decided an almost impossible norm if it is not carried out.
Therefore, factual dominance is interesting in decisions, especially because of the tendency to cling to the first action without considering all the potentially possible ones and hence the propensity to opt for the first dishes on a menu or the first items exposed in a local.
Now, how does the brain decide which responses to heed? How do you ignore one of the processes for the other? What determines whether fear or desire wins? All these issues have not yet been definitively resolved given the great variety of factors that intercede and influence such complex processing.
Read Also: Why Are My Brain Freezes So Bad
S Of The Brain Involved In Speech
In recent decades, there has been an explosion of research into language processing in the brain. Its now generally accepted that the control of speech is part of a complex network in the brain.
The formation of speech requires many different processes, from putting thoughts into words, forming a comprehensible sentence, and then actually making the mouth move to make the correct sounds.
There are several areas of the brain known to play a role in speech:
What Part Of The Brain Controls Balance
Its easy to take the balance system for granted. Depending on your ability level, you probably dont think twice about standing upright, walking around, and sitting up straight. But while these processes might seem effortless, the reality is that your brain is constantly working to keep your balance system functioning properly. Your brain is responsible for helping you walk, run, and even stand on one foot. But what part of the brain controls balance?
Recommended Reading: Are Brain Freezes Dangerous
Brain Injury And Speech
What happens if one or more of these parts is injured, damaged, or abnormal?
If you have a problem speaking or understanding speech, its a condition called aphasia. If you have trouble putting together the correct muscle movements necessary to produce speech, its a condition called .
Symptoms of aphasia or apraxia depend on where the damage occurs in the brain and the severity of the damage. These symptoms include:
Brain Stem Keeps You Breathing And More
Another brain part that’s small but mighty is the brain stem. The brain stem sits beneath the cerebrum and in front of the cerebellum. It connects the rest of the brain to the spinal cord, which runs down your neck and back. The brain stem is in charge of all the functions your body needs to stay alive, like breathing air, digesting food, and circulating blood.
Part of the brain stem’s job is to control your involuntary muscles the ones that work automatically, without you even thinking about it. There are involuntary muscles in the heart and stomach, and it’s the brain stem that tells your heart to pump more blood when you’re biking or your stomach to start digesting your lunch. The brain stem also sorts through the millions of messages that the brain and the rest of the body send back and forth. Whew! It’s a big job being the brain’s secretary!
Don’t Miss: Bleed In Brain Stem