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Your brain is probably THE most amazing part of your body. It acts as a command centre for everything you do, think, sense and say. There is nothing you do that doesn't involve brain-power!

That mass of wrinkly looking pinky-grey stuff you call your brain, is really a whole bunch of nerve tissue. Together with your spinal cord, it makes up your body's nervous system.

The cells that make up your nervous system are neurons. They send electrical and chemical messages back and forth between your brain and the rest of your body. Over 100-billion neurons make-up your brain - as many stars as there are in the galaxy.


Your brain has four main parts:

1 The Feeling Brain: The limbic system, the main parts linked to feelings, is located near the very middle of your head, and reaches downwards. It is responsible for feelings of pleasure, anger, fear and sorrow. The hippocampus (hippo-camppuss) and amygdala (amig-day-la) are parts of the memory system.

2 The Cerebellum: A lump at the bottom of the brain at the back of your head. It resembles a miniature brain. We use this part of our brain to help control simple movements like picking up a can of pop to very complicated ones like skate-boarding.


Unlike other parts of your body that can repair themselves if they are bruised or injured, your brain can't. Any damage you do is permanent. Often though, the brain can adapt, but it takes time.

3 Thinking Brain: Your cerebrum is the main, bulky part of your brain. It is made of two halves, called hemispheres. The outer, wrinkly part of the cerebrum is called the cortex. This is where intelligence, thinking and control of your muscles are located.

4 Reptilian Brain (your brainstem): This is the part of your brain that hangs down from the centre of your brain, and connects to the top of your spine. This is the oldest and most primitive part of the human brain. It is responsible for sending the signals out that cause us to breathe, digest, keep our heart beating and other things we don't think about. Primitive, but it keeps us alive.


The reason for the wrinkles is so your brain fits into your skull. You see, if you flattened out the wrinkles, your cortex (the wrinkly outer part of your brain) would have a surface area of about 2,500 square centimeters! That would cover the bottom of a large kitchen sink.
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Author:Wysong, Pippa
Publication:Kidsworld Magazine
Date:Mar 22, 1999
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