Skull: Because the brain has the consistency of a hard-boiled egg, a skull must protect it (at birth, the skull consists of folded plates to help get the body through the birth canal; then the plates connect and calcify).
Brain stem: Connected to your spinal cord, it's responsible for controlling many involuntary functions like breathing, digestion, and heart rate.
Cerebellum: Responsible for muscle coordination, reflexes, and balance.
Cerebrum: Much of your brain function takes place in the cerebral cortex, or outer layer of the cerebrum. It's the assembly line of human thought where all the heavy work gets done.
Left hemisphere: Controls your concrete side: speech, writing, language, and calculation.
Right hemisphere: Controls the imaginative side: spatial ability, music, and intuition.
The frontal lobe: Controls such things as planning, personality, behavior, and emotion. It's the area that allows us to tell right from wrong and to help us think abstractly.
The parietal lobes: It's most associated with touching and helps us move our limbs. Its junction with the occipital lobe is where speech and understanding speech are located.
The occipital lobe: Controls vision.
The temporal lobes: Located on both sides of your brain at about ear level, these lobes process sound and are responsible for short-term memory.
Neurons: Nerve cells that contain pieces of information, which need to be transmitted to another neuron so that your body can properly function.
Neurotransmitters: Chemical messengers in your brain.
Thalamus: Takes sensory information from the spine; then prepares you for and smoothes out movement.
Limbic system: The limbic system isn't a structure but a series of pathways incorporating various structures deep inside the brain, such as the hippocampus and the amygdala.
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger