The Brain

A2 Biology Revision

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  • Created by: Cassie
  • Created on: 14-04-10 10:18

The Cerebrum

  • The largest and most recognisable part of the brain. It is responsible for the elements of the nervous system associated with being human, including thought, imagination and reasoning.
  • Higher brain functions include conscious thought and emotional responses, the ability to override some reflexes and judgement.
  • The thin, highly folded outer layer is the cerebral cortex.

It is split into different areas...

  • Sensory areas- receive impulses indirectly from receptors
  • Association areas- compare input with previous experiences to interpret the input and judge an appropriate response.
  • Motor areas- send impulses to effectors (muscles and glands)
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The cerebellum

D: Controls the coordination of movement and posture


1. Muscular activities responding to changes in body position to remain balanced and upright.

2. Sensory activities like judging the position of objects and limbs

3. Tensioning of muscles to manipulate tools effectively

4. Feedback info on muscle position, tension and fine movements

5. Operation of antagonistic muscles for contraction/relaxation

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Cerebellum cont.

Neurones from the cerebellum carry impulses to motor areas so motor output to the effectors can be adjusted appropriately for requirements.

It contains over half the nerve cells in the brain and processes sensory info from...

  • Retina
  • Balance organs in inner ear
  • Spindle fibres in muscles giving info about muscle tension
  • Joints
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Medulla Oblongata

  • Controls non skeletal muscles
  • Effectively controls the autonomic nervous system
  • Regulatory centres in the medulla oblongata include the cardiac centre and the respiratory centre.
  • So it controls breathing rate, heart rate and the action of smooth muscle in the gut wall.
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  • Controls the autonomic nervous system and endocrine gland
  • Sensory input comes from osmoreceptors and temperature receptors
  • Automatic responses are initiated that regulate body temperature and blood water potential
  • It controls the endocrine function as it produces hormones that control and regulate the pituitary gland
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