What the Brain Does

Each part of your brain has a different role. The brain controls your breathing, heart rate, digestion, temperature regulation, your five senses, and movement. The brain also allows you to think, handle emotions, and make judgments among many other critical functions. 

The brain

Side view outline of head with brain and spinal cord. Brain is body's control center. Brain stem links brain and spinal cord. Spinal cord carries messages between brain and body. Blood vessels carry blood to brain. Personality is in front of brain. Speech, hearing, and language are on side of brain. Movement and sensation are on middle of brain. Vision is at back of brain.

Roles of different areas in the brain

Different areas of the brain have different functions: 

  • The front of the brain is the center for emotions and reasoning. This is where much of your personality comes from. Memory is mainly stored in both temporal lobes.

  • The right side of your brain controls the left side of your body. The right side also directs problem-solving and spatial skills, such as judging distance and recognizing faces.

  • The left side of your brain controls the right side of your body. It also handles most verbal or language skills.

  • The brain stem handles basic body functions, such as breathing, blood flow, and swallowing.

  • The back of your brain controls vision.

  • The cerebellum is the part of your brain located immediately below your visual cortex. It controls coordination.


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