S Of The Brain: Structures Anatomy And Functions
The human brain is one of the largest and most complex organs in the body. It controls your emotions, thoughts, speech, memory, creativity, breathes, movement, and stores information from the outside world. This article discusses the different parts of the brain and the function of each structure.
The brain is a 3-pound organ that contains more than 100 billion neurons and many specialized areas. There are 3 main parts of the brain include the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem. The Cerebrum can also be divided into 4 lobes: frontal lobes, parietal lobes, temporal lobes, and occipital lobes. The brain stem consists of three major parts: Midbrain, Pons, and Medulla oblongata. Although each structure has a distinct function, they work together to control all functions of the body.
What Part Of The Brain Is Associated With Memory
Brain memory is a complex topic, but we will do our best to break down where memories are stored in the brain by first focusing on two main different types of memory: implicit memory and explicit memory.
So, what part of the brain controls memory? All of its different, interconnected regions work together as the memory part of the brain. They each play their unique role in both memory consolidation and memory recall.
Cerebral Areas Involved In Short
In the case of short-term memory, our most recent memories will stay in the prefrontal cortex.
A widely accepted theory is that short-term memory is stored in the prefrontal cortex, something that was first proposed in 1936 when short-term memory deficits were observed in primates with damage to the prefrontal cortex.
This function appears to be located in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which coincides with Brodmans area 46.
A very widespread idea today is that the so-called working memory is located in the prefrontal cortex, which in computers would be RAM. This idea is mainly focused on the ability of the prefrontal cortex to hold information for short periods of time, but it is not so concerned with how it is manipulated and uses this information to make decisions.
However, in a 2004 study carried out with primates, it was concluded that the prefrontal cortex could have more involvement in selective attention than in short-term memory.
Read Also: Medical Term For Bleeding In The Brain
Reasons Behind Forgetting Things
The brain can store a large sum of data in it, but some things are lost. Forgetting is as essential as retaining something. It helps make new memories and move on. Otherwise, we will never progress into the future and cling on everything traumatic we remember. Sometimes we even forget the memories we cherish because this is how the brain works. It lets go of memories so future memories can be made. This is the reason why we even forget our most heartbreaking break up after a while or even our most cherished birthdays.
Here are the three ways it can happen.
This is the process of losing memory when the neuron connection weakens over time. With aging or when we do not actively recall a memory, the neuron’s link is lost. It can also happen when we lose the stimulus to the mind. The memory might still be there, but we are not able to access it.
This happens when our brain actively prunes and discard certain details of a memory. For example, when we learn a new piece of information that contradicts the previous one, the pleasant memory is retained. The conflicted one is dismissed. With target forgetting, we also eliminate our conflicted believes and welcome new perceptions.
Areas Of The Brain Involved In Spatial Memory
Areas of the brain that are required for the formation of spatial representations of the environment include the hippocampus and surrounding medial temporal lobes, which are also known to play a key role in episodic memory . Various approaches have been used to elucidate the involvement of these areas in spatial memory. Work in rodents, for example, has utilized mazelike environments in which the animal is required to learn the location of a reward or an escape platform. Over a number of trials, rodents quickly learn the desired goal location and use the most-direct route to reach it. Remembering a place in the environment via the hippocampal formation differs from trial-and-error learning to associate a sensory stimulus with a specific action , which is supported by the striatum . The significance of the hippocampus to spatial memory is illustrated by the severe disruption in the learning of goal location and navigation to the goal that occurs when the hippocampus is damaged.
Recommended Reading: What Does Bleeding In The Brain Mean
How Are Memories Formed
The brain simmers with activity. Different groups of neurons , responsible for different thoughts or perceptions, drift in and out of action.
Memory is the reactivation of a specific group of neurons, formed from persistent changes in the strength of connections between neurons. But what allows a specific combination of neurons to be reactivated over any other combination of neurons?
The answer is synaptic plasticity. This term describes the persistent changes in the strength of connections called synapses between brain cells. These connections can be made stronger or weaker depending on when and how often they have been activated in the past. Active connections tend to get stronger, whereas those that arent used get weaker and can eventually disappear entirely.
A connection between two neurons becomes stronger when neuron A consistently activates neuron B, making it fire an action potential , and the connection gets weaker if neuron A consistently fails to make neuron B fire a spike. Lasting increases and decreases in synaptic strength are called long-term potentiation and long-term depression .
Beyond Emotion: Understanding The Amygdalas Role In Memory
Illustration of the basolateral amygdala , hippocampus , and perirhinal cortex and electrical signals from each region during a recognition test trial. 3-D brain model adapted with permission from AMC Virtual Brain Model. Image courtesy of Cory Inman, Emory University
The amygdalae, a pair of small almond-shaped regions deep in the brain, help regulate emotion and encode memoriesespecially when it comes to more emotional remembrances. Now, new research from Emory University suggests that direct stimulation of the amygdala via deep brain stimulation electrodes can enhance a persons recognition of images seen the day before, leading to the possibility of potential DBS treatment for patients with memory-related disorders.
The amygdala and memory
The amygdala may be best known as the part of the brain that drives the so-called fight or flight response. While it is often associated with the bodys fear and stress responses, it also plays a pivotal role in memory.
One role we are very familiar with, when it comes to the amygdala and memory, is that of emotional salience, says Jon T. Willie, M.D., Ph.D., neurosurgeon and director of the laboratory for behavioral neuromodulation at Emory University in Atlanta. If you have an emotional experience, the amygdala seems to tag that memory in such a way so that it is better remembered.
Stimulating memory, but not emotion
Challenges of DBS as a treatment
Recommended Reading: Why Do I Get Brain Freezes So Easily
The Cerebellum And Prefrontal Cortex
Although the hippocampus seems to be more of a processing area for explicit memories, you could still lose it and be able to create implicit memories , thanks to your cerebellum. For example, one classical conditioning experiment is to accustom subjects to blink when they are given a puff of air. When researchers damaged the cerebellums of rabbits, they discovered that the rabbits were not able to learn the conditioned eye-blink response .
Other researchers have used brain scans, including positron emission tomography scans, to learn how people process and retain information. From these studies, it seems the prefrontal cortex is involved. In one study, participants had to complete two different tasks: either looking for the letter a in words or categorizing a noun as either living or non-living . Participants were then asked which words they had previously seen. Recall was much better for the semantic task than for the perceptual task. According to PET scans, there was much more activation in the left inferior prefrontal cortex in the semantic task. In another study, encoding was associated with left frontal activity, while retrieval of information was associated with the right frontal region .
Which Part Of The Brain Deals With Emotions
Now, you know what parts of the brain deal with thinking and memory. Lets have a quick look at the part that is responsible for emotions.
All positive and negative emotions, and spontaneous feelings think excitement and sadness, are being processed in the limbic system.
The limbic system control your emotions and interacts with other parts of the brain.
In the same time, another part of the brain called amygdala handles emotional reactions such as love, hate, and sexual desire.
With centuries of research, the human brain remains the biggest mystery in the world. It is the most complex part of the body that controls movement, sight, and thinking.
Read Also: Brain Bleed Symptoms In Adults
What Part Of The Brain Controls Short
Memory is a function of the brain and at the same time a cognitive process that allows us to encode, store and later retrieve information or experiences. It is the result of synaptic connections between neurons that, over time, create a series of neural networks, which are what allow us to keep memories relatively stable over time.
There are different types of memory, one of the most used classifications refers to its temporal scope, so that there is short-term, medium-term and long-term memory.
Now, in this post we are going to answer the question What part of the brain controls short-term memory? We will introduce you to what short-term memory consists of and what brain structures are responsible for this type of memory, as well as the conditions that can affect it.
S Of The Brain Involved In Memory
Memory is a complex function that involves multiple steps, starting with the input of the stimulus to the brain and ending with independent memory retrieval. Georgia Tech states that human memory is made up of three basic stages: sensory memory, where information is derived from touch visual or aural short-term memory and long-term memory. The different steps in memory retention take place throughout the brain.
Recommended Reading: How To Know Your Brain Is Bleeding
The Left And Right Hemispheres
âThe cerebrum is split into two halves , colloquially referred to as the left and right sides of the brain. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, whilst the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body. This explains why victims of right-hemisphere strokes experience paralysis or sensory impairment on the left side of the body.
The left hemisphere is credited for logic, analytical, reasoning, language and numerical skills. Conversely, the right hemisphere takes charge of creativity, imagination, intuition and spatial awareness.
As the two sides constantly communicate through the corpus callosum, a collection of nerve fibers between linking the two halves, youâre able to engage both hemispheres simultaneously, necessary for countless cognitive feats and voluntary movements.
Learning Recalling And Thinking
The brain regulates an array of functions necessary to survival: the action of our five senses, the continuous monitoring of the spatial surround, contraction and relaxation of the digestive muscles, the rhythms of breathing and a regular heartbeat. As the vital functions maintain their steady course without our conscious exertion, we are accustomed to consider the brain as preeminently the organ of thought. The brain houses our mind and our memories, and we rely on its information-processing capacities when we set out to learn something new.
But where in the brain can we locate memory or thought itself? offered some clues about the ways scientific investigationfrom the molecular level to studies of the alert, behaving animalhas begun to define in physical terms an abstract quality such as “attention.” Similar techniques and approaches are being applied to other mental functions, too, even those as seemingly intangible as learning, remembering, or thinking about the outside world.
Learning and memory, which for many years were considered central problems in psychology, the social sciences, and philosophy, have recently assumed greater importance in the area of neurobiology, itself a confluence of several lines of investigation.
Most available evidence suggests that the functions of memory are carried out by the hippocampus and other related structures in the temporal lobe.
Also Check: How Much Storage Does The Human Brain Have
What Part Of The Brain Controls Long Term Memory
The study of memory necessitates the study of the brain. Memories are created in, stored in, and affected by different parts of the brain:
- Neocortex. This is the brains wrinkly-looking outer layer. It stores memories.
- Hippocampus. This is involved in converting our perceptions into long-term memories. The right posterior section is involved in spatial navigation, which, as well see, is an important aspect of memory.
- Medial temporal lobe. This contains the hippocampus and is involved with long-term memory.
- Basil ganglia. This is involved in learning habits.
- Cerebellum. This is involved in learning motor skills.
- Frontal and parietal cortices. These are involved with recalling long-term memories.
When we use our brains, they physically changewe can form new neurons and rearrange connections. This is known as neuroplasticity. For example, neuroscientist Eleanor Maguire studied the brains of London cabbies-in-training. She found that their right posterior hippocampi were 7% larger than the average persons because they spent so much time memorizing the layout of the city. This is a fascinating insight into what part of the brain controls long term memory.
The Horrors Of Dementia
Dementia is often commonly regarded as a disease. The truth is dementia is not a disease it is a group of several symptoms caused by some brain-related disorder. Although speech and language could also be affected, memory loss is relatively common in people with dementia. Stroke and Alzheimers disease can lead to dementia. The brain activity, including the normal process of memory-making and accessing, is disrupted. The neurons degenerate, causing the symptoms of memory loss. Type of damage can vary with the kind of dementia and other condition.
The memory loss due to aging is different from this. Unlike skin cell that regenerates themselves regularly, nerve cells do not. This means that with the normal process of aging, they will degrade. The amount of neurotransmitter will also decrease. This can lead to the loss of specific memories.
Don’t Miss: Evander Holyfield Brain Damage
Pathologies And Disorders Associated With Short
If the different types of memory were not independent, when one failed, they would all fail. Fortunately, the brain dedicates different areas to each of the types of memory, so altering the MLP, for example, does not have to affect the MCP.
In general, all types of memory work together and it would be very difficult to decipher where one begins and another ends. On the other hand, when one of them is damaged, our brain cannot carry out its function, with fatal consequences in our daily lives.
Short-term memory impairment can reduce both the time and the amount of items you handle. Thus, in a slight alteration, perhaps we can retain less amount of information for less time, so it would be a little visible damage. On the other hand, a serious alteration could practically disable the function of the MCP, with very important consequences.
Short-term memory can be damaged in a number of ways. MCP has been seen to be altered in moderate stages of Alzheimers disease, although damage to MLP is much more prominent in this disease.
The importance of short-term memory in dyslexia has also been pointed out, since the difficulty of storing phonological information can lead to problems in the acquisition of reading.
Additionally, marijuana use is another factor that can affect the integrity of the CCM. Brain damage from a stroke or head injury may also impair short-term memory.
Assembling A Brain In The Laboratory
Hebbian synapses have also been demonstrated in another kind of laboratory, where computer scientists and engineers have built them into a computer chip. The device is a simple one, with only 16 synapses, but it performs Hebbian learning quite efficiently, at the rate of a million times per second. Newer chips have already been developed to represent more realistic neurons, with many thousands of synapses and technology to represent the connections between such neurons will make the assembly of something more nearly resembling a working brain a little easier to envision. Such a device will have to combine analog signals, like those propagated within neurons, and digital signals, the off or on impulses transmitted from one neuron to another. It will not be simply a larger, or even an unbelievably faster, version of today’s familiar computer.
The field of artificial perception already boasts chips developed at the California Institute of Technology that are capable of much of the sensory processing performed just outside the brain by the retina, for example, and by the cochlea, the spiral passage of the inner ear whose hair cells respond to vibrations by sending impulses to the auditory nerve. Now in development as well are chips to simulate some of the functions of the visual cortex others, with some of the memory-storing capacity of the hippocampus, are being scaled up, closer to the dimensions of a living system.
Read Also: Lack Of Sleep Causes Brain To Eat Itself
Which Part Of The Brain Is Responsible For Thinking And Memory
The majority of thinking-related processes happen in the frontal lobe. These include decision-making, problem-solving, and planning.
The frontal lobe also helps the development of cognition, language processing, and intelligence.
The temporal lobe controls other processes related to language understanding, perception, and recognition. It is also in charge of learning and memory.