When I think of the brain and all its functions, I think of Sponge Bob Squarepants and how, in that one episode, Plankton was able to control his every move by climbing into his head and putting an electrical devise on the very top. Now let’s be realistic here… One little devise is NOT going to be able to control our body along with all of our body’s functions… also we all know sponges don’t have brains. To examine the brain, we need to look at ALLLLLLLL the different functions, regions, lobes, and association areas. To cover the brain we need to cover the older brain structures, the cerebral cortex, and then divide the brain and individually look at the left and right side of our brains. Unfortunately for us, we don’t have Plankton in our brain controlling our bodies.
First off, the brain is protected by the skull. It’s held up by the brainstem. There is a slight swelling on the brainstem and that is called the medulla. This is what controls your heartbeat and breathing. Right above this is the pons, which coordinates your movement. Well that seems pretty simple, right?
Basically, the brainstem is a crossover point where most nerves crosswire to connect to the bodies opposite side. I like to think about it like this: a TV has so many plugs and they always cross wire to get into the outlet. Well to me that’s kind of like the brainstem. The brainstem is the outlet and inside of it is a bunch of nerves that go all over our body connect where it’s supposed to (like the TV). All the different functions of the brainstem come together and essentially control our heartbeat, breathing, movement and arousal.
Secondly is the thalamus. The thalamus sits at the top of the brainstem and controls all of our senses except for our sense of smell. It intakes information from our senses and sends it to the part of our brain region that deal with seeing, hearing, tasting, and touching. A good real life example of something similar to the thalamus is a taxi. Think about it, a taxi takes people to the places where they need to go. The thalamus does the same thing. It intakes information and then sends it to one of the sensory regions where it needs to go (either the medulla or the cerebellum).The cerebellum is referred to as the “little brain”. This helps us judge time, modulate our emotions, and discriminate sounds and textures. Mostly, though, with the help of the pons, it is about movement. If this part of the brain is injured then you would have trouble walking, keeping your balance, or even shaking hands. The Limbic system contains the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, the amygdala, and the hippocampus. This is associated with emotions like fear and aggression and also for food and sex.
Next is the cerebral cortex. This is a thin surface layer where information is processed. The structure of this is where the body’s ultimate control is. If Plankton were to be anywhere in the brain while he was in Sponge Bob’s brain, it would be in here. This is where all the lobes are: the frontal lobes, the parietal lobes, occipital lobes and the temporal lobes. When you think about it, these are just divided into four hemispheres. The frontal is behind your forehead, the parietal is at the top and to the back, the occipital is at the back of your head and just above your ears are your temporal lobes. All of these lobes have different jobs and functions like touch and movements. So I guess in all reality, Plankton had no idea what he was doing while he was trying to control Sponge Bob.