TBI Brain Injury       Brain Trauma &
Brain Injury Information



The Role Of The Brain In The Human Body

The human brain is an amazing organ, one which we quite often just take for granted. It is about the size of a small cauliflower, weighs 1300-1400 grams in adults, and is located in the skull, whose bones help to protect this incredible brain.

The brain controls nearly all of the body's functions, working on a variety of tasks without us even thinking about it. Body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate are controlled automatically by the brain, but it also monitors the results of the five senses, touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste. The brain also deals with body movements, walking, sitting, standing etc, and it also lets us think, imagine, reason and have emotions.

Even when we are sleeping, the brain is still active as scientists have recorded by attaching electrodes to the head, then connecting these electrodes to a machine called an electroencephalograph. The encephalogram (or EEG) records the brain activity, and shows that the brain is indeed active even when we are sleeping.

The human brain is divided into three main area, the brain stem, the cerebellum and the cerebrum. The brain stem is responsible for the basic body functions for example the regulation of the heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing, digestion, and it contains most of the cranial nerves, while the cerebellum, found at the lower back of the brain, is responsible for the balance and muscle coordination of the body. The cerebrum is made up of two hemispheres which are distinct from one another, and it is responsible for brain functions including thinking, touching and emotions, and determines intelligence and personality.

Now, the central nervous system (CNS) is made up of the brain and the spinal cord, while the peripheral nervous system (PNS) is made up of nerves. Nerves reach from your brain to your spinal cord and from there to the rest of your body. These nerves collect information and send messages through the spinal cord to the brain which then responds accordingly. So, for example, if you put your hand in boiling water, nerves in the hand send messages to the brain which responds by making you remove your hand from the boiling water.

Because the brain handles so much information for us each and every day, it is easy to understand how damage to the head can cause a wide range of other problems, affecting motor control, visual processing, auditory processing, sensation, learning, memory and emotions. It is for this reason that we must take great care of our heads, taking extra precautions whenever possible to protect this valuable organ, the brain.

Brain injury can occur very easily, especially in children, and whenever there is any damage to the head, it is always advisable to seek medical help. Professionals know the questions to ask so they can identify if there is a problem developing in a certain area, and with much at stake, brain injuries are not something to ignore.