What to learn the major parts of the brain? All you need are your hands. Stretch out your hands in front of you. See how the skin on this side of your hands
is darker than the other side? That’s just like the outer layer of the
brain, called the cortex or the “gray matter”. The outside of the brain is darker than the
inside because it’s lined with neuron cell bodies. Cell bodies are also called soma. Cell bodies keep the neuron healthy and functioning. The muscles inside your hands represent the
white matter of your brain. White matter is made up of neuron axons. Axons carry information from one neuron to
another. If you make a fist with your hands, you can
form a shape that’s similar to your brain’s. This is how human brains are able to squeeze
so much gray matter cortex into the small space within your skull. Now take your hands, cross your wrists, and
make the back of your hands touch each other. This will help you remember that the left
hemisphere of your brain controls the right side of your body while the right hemisphere
of your brain control the left side of your body. Look closer at your hands. Thearea where they touch represents the corpus
callosum. The corpus callosum is a bundle of nerves
that connect the two hemispheres of the brain and help them to communicate with each other. I like to think of it as the Golden Gate bridge
of the brain. Your wrists represent the brainstem. The brain stem sits at the very bottom of
your brain. It’s the most basic part of your brain and
regulates important life functions like breathing, heart rate, sleeping, eating, and more. This is also where signals from the right
side of your body cross over to your left brain and where signals from the left side
of your body cross over to your right brain. Your arms represent the spinal cord. The spinal cord extends down your back. It sends and receives information from the
rest of your body. Let’s focus on your left hemisphere. Your front fingers represent your frontal
lobe. If you remember front fingers frontal lobe,
you’ll remember that this is the part of your brain responsible for complex and abstract
abilities. It sits right behind your forehead and is
the most advanced part of your brain. The frontal lobe helps you to make plans,
imagine possible futures, and helps you to control your emotions. It doesn’t finish developing until your
mid 20s, which is why a lot of kids and teenagers can do impulsive things. If you extend your index and middle finger,
you’ll see the part of your hand that represents the parietal lobe. The parietal lobe integrates all the sensory
information in your body. Your sense of space, navigation, and touch
all get relayed here. But your brain doesn’t prioritize each part
of your body equally. Take a look at this homunculus “map” of the
primary motor cortex of the brain – you’ll notice that the brain prioritizes information
from your hands and face. Look at the back of your hands. You’ll notice they look like eyes. This will help you remember that the occipital
lobe, the area responsible for visual information, is located in the back of your brain. Have you ever hit the back of your head and
seen stars? It’s because you hit your occipital lobe. Don’t worry though, your brain is protected
by cerebrospinal fluid which cushions it against most everyday injuries like this, just like
an airbag in a car. Take a look at your thumb. See how it can lift away from the rest of
your fist but remains attached? That’s similar to the temporal lobe. The back of the temporal lobe is connected
to the parietal and occipital lobes, but the front section can be lifted away from the
rest of the brain. The temporal lobe is responsible for understanding
sounds and speech. Here’s how I remember this: the thumb looks
like a temporal lobe which is important for talking. If we take a closer look at the temporal lobe,
we’ll find the limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for emotions,
learning, and memory. Inside you’ll find the amygdala, an almond
shaped structure just below your thumbnail. The amygdala is responsible for basic emotions. Further inside is the hippocampus. It’s near the bone of your thumb. The hippocampus is responsible for learning
and memory. That’s it! Now you’ve got a portable model of the brain
that you can use whenever you need it. Recreate it with your own hands a few times
and customize the model by making your own mnemonics. What questions do you have about the brain? Let me know in the comments below.

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