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You are watching: Part of the brain responsible for coordinating muscle movements and maintaining balance

StatPearls . Sweetheart Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-.



The nervous device subdivides into the central nervous system and also the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous mechanism is the mind and spinal cord, while the peripheral concerned system consists of everything else. The central nervous system"s responsibilities include receiving, processing, and responding to sensory information.  

The mind is an body organ of nervous organization that is responsible for responses, sensation, movement, emotions, communication, thought processing, and memory. Security for the human brain comes native the skull, meninges, and cerebrospinal fluids. The nervous organization is very delicate and also can suffer damages by the smallest amount of force. In addition, it has actually a blood-brain barrier preventing the mind from any kind of harmful problem that might be floating in the blood.

The spinal cord is a critical aspect the the CNS discovered within the vertebral column. The purpose of the spinal cord is come send motor regulates from the brain to the peripheral body and to relay sensory info from the sensory organs to the brain. Spinal cord security is through bone, meninges, and cerebrospinal fluids.

Structure and Function

The brain is broken up into two hemispheres, the left, and the right. When they space in continuous communication, the left and right hemisphere room responsible for various behaviors, well-known as mind lateralization. The left hemisphere is more dominant through language, logic, and math abilities. The appropriate hemisphere is more creative, being dominant in artistic and also musical situations, and also intuition. 

Cerebral cortex: The cerebral cortex is the outermost layer that surrounds the brain. It is created of gray matter and also filled through billions the neurons offered to command high-level executive, management functions. The cortex divides into four lobes; frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal by various sulci.<1> The frontal lobe, situated anteriorly come the main sulcus, is responsible because that voluntary motor function, problem-solving, attention, memory, and also language. Located in the frontal lobe space the motor cortex and the Broca area. The engine cortex allows for the precise voluntary activities of our skeletal muscles, while the Broca area controls motor functions responsible for creating language. The parietal lobe is separated native the occipital lobe by the parieto-occipital sulcus and is behind the central sulcus. That is responsible for processing sensory information and contains the somatosensory cortex. Neurons in the parietal lobe receive details from sensory and proprioceptors transparent the body, procedure the can, and type an understanding around what is gift touched based upon previous knowledge. The occipital lobe, well-known as the visual handling center, consists of the visual cortex. Comparable to the parietal lobe, the occipital lobe receives information from the retina and also then supplies past intuitive experiences come interpret and also recognize the stimuli. Lastly, the temporal lobe processes auditory stimuli with the hear cortex. Mechanoreceptors located in the hair cells lining the cochlea room activated by sound energy, which in turn sends impulses to the auditory cortex. The impulse is processed and stored based upon previous experiences. The Wernicke area is in the temporal lobe and also functions in speech comprehension. 

Basal nuclei: The basal nuclei, also known together basal ganglia, is located deep in ~ the cerebral white matter and is written of the caudate nucleus, putamen, and also globus pallidus. These structures kind the pallidum and striatum. The basal ganglia room responsible for muscle movements and also coordination.<2>

Thalamus: The thalamus is the relay facility of the brain. It receives afferent impulses indigenous sensory receptors located throughout the body and processes the info for circulation to the appropriate cortical area. It is likewise responsible for regulating consciousness and also sleep.

Hypothalamus: While the hypothalamus is one of the smallest parts of the brain, that is an important to keeping homeostasis. The hypothalamus associate the main nervous mechanism to the endocrine system. The is responsible for heart rate, blood pressure, appetite, thirst, temperature, and also the relax of miscellaneous hormones. The hypothalamus also communicates v the pituitary gland to relax or inhibit antidiuretic hormone, corticotropin-releasing hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, growth hormone-releasing hormone, prolactin inhibiting hormone, thyroid publication hormone, and oxytocin.<3>

Pons: uncovered in the brainstem, the pons connect the medulla oblongata and also the thalamus. That is composed of tracts responsible because that relaying impulses native the motor cortex come the cerebellum, medulla, and also thalamus.

Medulla oblongata: The medulla oblongata is in ~ the bottom that the mind stem, wherein the spinal cord meets the foramen magnum that the skull. That is responsible for autonomic functions, several of which are an essential for survival. The medulla oblongata monitors the body respiratory mechanism using chemoreceptors. This receptors room able come detect transforms in blood chemistry. For example, if the blood is also acidic, the medulla oblongata will boost the respiratory tract rate permitting for an ext oxygen to with the blood.<4> the is additionally a cardiovascular and also vasomotor center. The medulla oblongata can regulate the body"s blood pressure, pulse, and cardiac contractions based upon the body’s needs. Lastly, that controls reflexes choose vomiting, swallowing, coughing, and also sneezing.

Cerebellum: The cerebellum, also known as the little brain, is responsible because that smooth, combination voluntary movements. The subdivides into three lobes: the anterior, posterior, and also flocculonodular lobes. The cerebellum has a cerebellar circuit, using Purkinje cells and cerebellar peduncles to connect to various other parts that the brain. The superior cerebellar peduncle is written of white issue that connects the cerebellum to the midbrain and allows for coordination in the arms and legs. The inferior cerebellar peduncle connects the medulla and cerebellum utilizing proprioceptors to maintain balance and posture. Lastly, the middle cerebellar peduncle is offered as a one-way communication an approach from the pons come the cerebellum. The is largely composed that afferent fibers that alert the cerebellum about voluntary motor actions. The cerebellum is in constant communication with the cerebral cortex, taking higher-level instructions around the brain’s intentions, handling them v the cerebellar cortex, then sending messages to the cerebral motor cortex to do voluntary muscle contractions. This contractions space calculated to determine the force, direction, and also momentum necessary to ensure each contraction is smooth and also coordinated.

Limbic System: The limbic device is composed of the piriform cortex, hippocampus, septal nuclei, amygdala, cell core accumbens, hypothalamus, and also anterior nuclei the the thalamus.<5> The fornix and also fiber tracts attach the limbic device parts permitting them to control emotion, memory, and also motivation. The piriform cortex is part of the olfactory system and also is in the cortical area that the limbic system. The hypothalamus receives many of the limbic output, which explains psychosomatic illnesses, whereby emotional stressors cause somatic symptoms. Because that example, a patient who is at this time having gaue won struggles can present to his primary treatment physician through hypertension and tachycardia. The septal nuclei, amygdala, and nucleus accumbens are found in the subcortical areas and are responsible because that pleasure, emotionally processing, and also addiction, respectively.

Reticular formation: Reticular development is an extensive network of pathways include neurons that starts in the brainstem and also travels native the optimal of the midbrain come the medulla oblongata. This pathways have actually projecting reticular neurons that impact the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, thalamus, hypothalamus, and spinal cord. The reticular development controls the body"s level of consciousness v the reticular activation system, additionally known together RAS. Sensory axons, uncovered in visual, auditory, and sensory impulses, activate RAS neurons in the mind stem. This neurons then relay details to the thalamus and cerebrum. Constant stimulation of the RAS neurons causes the cerebrum to stay in an aroused state; this provides the emotion of alertness. However, RAS have the right to filter out repetitive, weak stimuli; this stays clear of the mind from responding to unimportant information, and also being sensory overloaded.

Spinal cord: The spinal cord appropriate extends native the foramen magnum of the skull come the very first or second lumbar vertebrae. It creates a two-way pathway between the mind and the body and also divides into four regions -  cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. These areas are then broken down into 31 segments v 31 pairs of spinal nerves. There space 8 cervical nerves, 12 thoracic nerves, 5 lumbar nerves, 5 sacral nerves, and also 1 coccygeal nerve. Each nerve exits the vertebral tower passing through the intervertebral foramina and also to its designated location in the body.

Due to cervical and lumbar enlargements, the spinal cord different in width throughout its structure. The cervical enlargement occurs at C3 come T1, and the lumbar enlargement is in ~ L1 come S2. The white issue is current on the external of the spinal cord, with gray matter located in its core and also cerebrospinal fluid in the main canal. The gray commissure, the dorsal, lateral, and also ventral horns space all created of gray matter. The gray commissure surrounds the central canal. The dorsal horns are made that interneurons, while the ventral horns room somatic engine neurons. Afferent neurons in the dorsal roots bring impulses from the body’s sensory receptor to the spinal cord, whereby the information begins to it is in processed. The ventral horns save on computer efferent motor neurons, which regulate the body"s periphery. The axons of engine neurons are uncovered in the body"s skeletal and also smooth muscle to regulate both involuntary and also voluntary reflexes.   

The spinal cord end in a cone-shaped structure referred to as conus medullaris and also is sustained to the finish of the coccyx through the filum terminale. Ligaments are found throughout the spinal column, securing the spinal cord from optimal to bottom.

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Ascending pathway to the brain: Sensory details travels indigenous the human body to the spinal cord prior to reaching the brain. This info ascends upwards utilizing first, second, and also third-order neurons. First-order neurons obtain impulses native skin and proprioceptors and also send them to the spinal cord. They then synapse through second-order neurons. Second-order neurons live in the dorsal horn and also send impulses come the thalamus and cerebellum. Lastly, third-order neurons pick up this impulses in the thalamus and also relay it come the somatosensory portion of the cerebrum. Somatosensory sensations are pressure, pain, temperature, and also the body"s senses. 

Descending pathway: Descending tracts send engine signals native the mind to reduced motor neurons. This efferents neurons then create muscle movement.<6>