The human brain. It’s spongy to the touch, weighs about three pounds and looks kind of like a head of cauliflower.
Some parts of the brain, including the cerebellum and brain stem, are quite primitive. They help us coordinate our movements and control basic survival functions like breathing.
And then there’s the cerebrum—the biggest and most evolved part of the brain. It controls the body’s conscious experiences and voluntary movements. It allows us to feel, think and create. And to receive, store and retrieve memories. In short, it makes us human.
Imagine you have a brain in your hand and slice it down the middle. What you’re left with are the two hemispheres of the cerebral cortex. Each of the hemispheres contains four lobes: the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes. These lobes are specialized to do certain things. For example, the frontal lobe specializes in decision making, while the occipital lobe specializes in vision. In addition to the lobes, there are deeper structures in the brain like the limbic system, which is important to long-term memory.