brain is a region of tissue located inside the skull, composed
of nerve cells (neurons)
and other supporting cells. The brain is the primary center
for coordinating and regulating body activities. Sensory information
is received via nerves and processed in the brain, and the
brain is the seat of thought, memory,
consciousness, judgment, reason and emotion. Motor commands
are initiated and discharged through nerves to the muscles
and glands, and the brain also oversees autonomic functions
such as breathing, digestion, and so on.
The brain contains a number of interconnected
structures, including the cerebral cortex
(the main seat of perception, memory and thought), the cerebellum
(important for fine motor control) and the brainstem (important
for arousal, sleep, attention and various autonomic functions
such as breathing). The brain also contains a number of glands,
such as the pituitary gland and the hypothalamic nuclei, which
that regulate body functions such as growth, reproduction,
body temperature, and sugar and fat metabolism.
Further reading: R. Restak (1984). The
Brain. New York: Bantam Books.
by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain