IMPORTANT BRAIN REGIONS RELATED TO COGNITION:

 

  • Amygdala: Responsible for emotional integration of sensory input and memories.
  • Basal ganglia: Located deep in the hemispheres. The basal ganglia are made up of the globus pallidus, caudate nucleus, and amygdala. Forms a circuit with the cortex. Important in the regulation of movement and in habit learning. Works closely with the frontal lobes.
  • Brain stem: Connection from the spinal cord to lower areas of the brain. Responsible for autonomic functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, and the like. Motor and sensory neurons pass through the brain stem.
  • Broca’s area: Located in the left frontal lobe. Involved in the production of fluent
    speech.
  • Caudate nucleus: Part of the neostriatum, which is part of basal ganglia. Receives projections from the neocortex and connects through the putamen and globus pallidus to
    the thalamus and finally to the motor area of the cortex.
  • Cerebellum: The back portion of the brain that assists in coordinating movement. Damage often results in ataxia (uncoordinated voluntary muscle movements).
  • Cerebrum: The largest part of the brain, divided into the left and right cerebral hemispheres. These upper portions of the brain are believed to be predominantly responsible
    for higher-order functions. Divided into the left and right cerebral hemispheres.
  • Left cerebral hemisphere: In most people the left cerebral hemisphere is responsible for speech, math, reading, and writing. Damage to the left hemisphere often results in
    problems with verbal communication and problems with movement on the right side of the body.
  • Right cerebral hemisphere: In most people the right cerebral hemisphere is responsible for visuospatial skills, direction, attention, and the regulation of emotions. Damage to this area will affect movement on the left side of the body and visuospatial abilities.
  • Corpus callosum: Connects the two hemispheres of the brain, allowing for communication
    between them.
  • Frontal lobes: Responsible for higher-order functioning (judgment, abstraction, and motivation) and the production of speech and has influence on personality. Damage
    results in difficulty with verbal expression, difficulty concentrating, and lack of emotional control. In the back of the frontal lobes are the motor areas that control voluntary
    movements. Damage results in contralateral paralysis, or paralysis on the opposite side of the body.
  • Hippocampus: Structure in the brain believed to be responsible for the processing and coordination of memory functioning. It is the end point of the cortex and the ultimate
    destination of multiple cortical and subcortical processes.
  • Neurons: Cells in the brain that store and process information.
  • Neurotransmitters: Chemicals produced by the neurons that carry information from neuron to neuron. Specific neurotransmitters are responsible for specific tasks (for
    instance, dopamine is responsible for movement).
  • Occipital lobes: Located in the back of the brain. Responsible for regulation and processing
    of sight
  • Parietal lobes: The anterior (front part) of the parietal lobes is responsible for tactile discrimination and recognition. The posterior (back part) of the parietal lobe is responsible for attention. The left parietal lobe is responsible for reading, writing, arithmetic, and The Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Workbook performance of learned information. Its other function is speech. The right parietal lobe is responsible for the comprehension of visuospatial relationships and understanding facial expressions and tones in speech.
  • Substantia nigra: Connects basal ganglia to the midbrain. Provides dopamine to the
  • Temporal lobes: Important for memory. When information enters the sensory registers it is briefly stored here and then sent to long-term memory or lost. The bottom section (ventral portion) of the temporal lobes regulates the recognition of faces and objects (note that this is a different function than recognizing facial expressions). The left portion of the temporal lobe is important for processing auditory information.
  • Thalamus: Responsible for the relay of sensory information. Coordinates information with the temporal lobes and serves a primary function in memory.
  • Wernicke’s area: Located in the rear of the superior temporal gyrus. Believed to be involved in the comprehension of speech.

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