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The amazing brain.

What if you had to keep reminding your heart to beat and your stomach to digest your lunch? You wouldn't get much done, would you? Luckily, part of your brain does all that for you automatically.

Your brain is one of the most important organs in your body. It weighs only about three pounds and looks a little like a cauliflower. But inside this gray mass of tissue are millions of nerves that control all of your movements and thoughts, your moods and emotions.

The largest part of your brain is called the cerebrum (sehr-EE-brum). It controls your reasoning, thinking, and learning. It also controls your creativity and emotions. It manages all voluntary (intentional) movements and stores memories. This part of your brain is very large. Because it is, you are able to understand lessons in school and may someday build rockets, write songs, or find cures for diseases.

Just below the cerebrum is the cerebellum (sehr-uh-BEL-um). It can tell you how far to reach to grab an object or how to adjust that reach if you miss the first time. When you throw a ball your cerebellum directs your muscles and keeps you balanced so you don't fall down.

The third major part of your brain is the brain stem. It controls breathing, heartbeat, and digestion so you don't have to keep telling your heart to beat and your stomach to digest your last meal. It handles all that automatically!

Animals also have a cerebrum, a cerebellum, and a brain stem. A cat, for example, has a large cerebellum. So it has great muscle coordination. But since its cerebrum is small the cat will never be a deep thinker, like humans,

Dolphins, however, have a cerebrum similar in size to the human cerebrum. They have an amazing ability to solve problems. Scientists think dolphins may be second to humans in intelligence.
COPYRIGHT 1995 Children's Better Health Institute
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Stickney, Nancy
Publication:U.S. Kids
Date:Jul 1, 1995
Words:312
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