The brain and how it works

The brain is responsible for everything we do. It controls all movements, sensations, speech, thoughts and emotions. Surprisingly, for such an important organ, the brain is very soft, almost the consistency of firm gelatin.

The brain would easily be injured if it was not contained by the skull. The brain is made up of two halves – the right and left hemispheres. The right hemisphere controls the left side of the brain and the left hemisphere controls the right side of the brain.

Each half of the brain is made up of sections called lobes. There are 4 lobes and each one has a special function.

  1. The frontal lobe – controls executive functions like emotion regulation, planning, reasoning and problem solving
  2. The parietal lobe – controls sensory information including touch, temperature, pressure and pain
  3. The temporal lobe – controls processing information including recognising language, forming memories and hearing information
  4. The occipital lobe – controls the visual processing including distance, identity of objects, surroundings

The brain also has the cerebellum which controls coordination and the brain stem which controls life sustaining functions like heart rate and breathing. It’s useful to understand the functions of the brain in order to understand the type of deficits that can occur when a particular part of the brain is injured. Download our useful leaflet here.