How The Brain Functions

The human brain is distinct from every other animal on this planet. It provides us the amazing ability to, speak, move, breathe, and feel. Much like the CPU in your computer, our brain is the central processing center for everything we receive through our senses, while at the same time behind the scenes it regulates our blood pressure, temperature, and all internal organ functions.

So how does the brain work? Although it only weighs just three pounds, the human brain contains approximately 100 billion cells. All these cells are connected in some way, which makes the brain the most complex organ in your body. And all these cells have specific functions.

When the a traumatic brain injury occurs, the brain is injured, cells are damaged and several functions can become impaired. What happens to injured brain cells?  The injured cells will either cease functioning, or perhaps, over time, rebuild and reconnect to the other cells.

Brain cells are actually composed of neurons, an electrical switch that turns on and off. Doctors use EEG machines to measure the electrical activity in your brain and can gauge healthy brain functions and identify those that are not working well or damaged.

Your brain controls many activities, the primary one - communication. Much information comes into the brain through the spinal cord and sensory organs and goes out through various parts of the body. Learn About Brain InjuryFor example, your nose smells something unpleasant, and you make a face. The sensory organ of the nose took in the smell, sent the message to your brain, and you made a face because of the information you received from your brain. 

What are the different sections of the human brain? The human brain is divided into sections called lobes, the largest being the frontal lobe. The others are the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes, the cerebellum, and the brain stem. Each has specific functions; the frontal lobe handles planning and organizing, in addition to managing our emotions.

The lobes are also divided into right and left sides, each responsible for different functions. Sensations, feelings, creativity—these are all functions of the right brain. The left part of the brain performs critical functions like thinking, evaluating, and organizing. And to make matters even more complicated, information we take in on the left (visually or through other senses) is interpreted by the right brain, and information inputted on the right is interpreted by the left brain.

These distinctions help explain why an injury to the right or left hemisphere of the brain will affect different functions. Therefore, an injury can cause impairment of physical, mental, or emotional functioning—or in some cases all three.