Cerebrum

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Lateral surface of cerebral cortex - gyri
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Cerebrum

The cerebrum is the largest part of the human brain. It is responsible for various higher functions, including processing sensory information, regulating motor functions, and facilitating complex cognitive processes such as learning, memory, and decision-making. The cerebrum is divided into two hemispheres, the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere, which are connected by a bundle of nerve fibers known as the corpus callosum.

Structure[edit | edit source]

The cerebrum's outer layer is known as the cerebral cortex, which is composed of folded gray matter. The folds increase the surface area, allowing for a greater number of neurons within a limited space. The cerebral cortex is divided into four main lobes: the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe. Each lobe is associated with different functions. For example, the frontal lobe is involved in decision-making and problem-solving, while the occipital lobe is primarily concerned with vision.

Beneath the cortex lies the white matter of the cerebrum, which consists of myelinated nerve fibers. These fibers connect different parts of the brain and allow for the rapid transmission of neural signals.

Function[edit | edit source]

The cerebrum plays a crucial role in nearly every aspect of human life. Its functions can be broadly categorized into sensory processing, motor control, and higher cognitive functions.

Sensory Processing[edit | edit source]

The cerebrum receives and processes sensory information from the body and the environment. Different regions of the cerebral cortex are specialized to process different types of sensory information. For instance, the somatosensory cortex processes tactile information, while the visual cortex is responsible for processing visual information.

Motor Control[edit | edit source]

The cerebrum is also involved in planning and executing voluntary movements. The motor cortex, located in the frontal lobe, sends signals to the muscles, coordinating movements.

Cognitive Functions[edit | edit source]

Higher cognitive functions, such as thinking, learning, memory, and language, are primarily functions of the cerebrum. Different parts of the cerebrum are involved in different aspects of cognition. For example, the prefrontal cortex is associated with decision-making and personality, while the hippocampus (located within the temporal lobe) is crucial for memory formation.

Clinical Significance[edit | edit source]

Damage to the cerebrum can result in a wide range of neurological and psychological conditions, depending on the area and extent of the damage. Conditions may include stroke, traumatic brain injury, and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD