Med-Surg - Nervous System, part 2: A&P Review - Cerebrum, Cerebellum, Brain Stem
by Cathy Parkes October 27, 2021 Updated: August 09, 2023 3 min read
Hi. I'm Cathy with Level Up RN. In this video, I am going to continue my anatomy and physiology review of the nervous system. Specifically, I will be covering the brain. So the cerebrum, cerebellum, as well as the brain stem. At the end of the video, I'm going to give you guys a little quiz to test your knowledge of some of the key points I'll be covering in this video. So definitely stay tuned for that. And if you have our Level Up RN medical-surgical nursing flashcards, definitely pull those out so you can follow along with me.
The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain, and it controls motor, cognitive, as well as sensory function.
It is divided into two hemispheres, so the left and right hemisphere. And those hemispheres are connected through the corpus callosum.
So it's important to note that the left side of the cerebrum, so the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body. And vice versa, the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body. So if a patient has a stroke on the right side of their brain, then they may end up with paralysis on the left side of their body.
So within the cerebrum, we have the cerebral cortex, which is the outer layer of the cerebrum, and that is made up of gray matter.
And then under that cortex, we have the subcortical structures. So sub means underneath. So subcortical means underneath the cortex.
So structures under the cortex include the hypothalamus, as well as the pituitary gland, the basal ganglia, etc.
So these structures are important for memory, emotion, pleasure, as well as hormone production. So in the endocrine system, we definitely talk at length about the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland because they produce a number of hormones, which are important in the body.
Let's now take a look at the lobes of the brain.
Here's an illustration from our medical-surgical nursing flashcard deck, which shows the four lobes of the brain.
So first of all, we have the frontal lobe. And you can see that the frontal lobe contains the motor cortex. Other important things that are controlled by the frontal lobe include memory, speech and language, personality, as well as decision-making.
And you also see that we have something called Broca's area here in the frontal lobe. Broca's area is essential for speech function.
All right, next step we have the parietal lobe, which contains these sensory cortex. So the parietal lobe is essential for interpreting signals related to things such as touch, position, pain, as well as temperature.
Then we have the occipital lobe back here, which contains the visual cortex. So the occipital lobe is essential for visual processing and interpretation.
And then finally, we have the temporal lobe, which is important for hearing and recognizing language. So it contains the auditory cortex, as well as Wernicke's area here, which is essential for the comprehension of verbal and written language.
A couple of other structures within the brain that I want to highlight include the cerebellum, which is located at the back of the brain underneath the occipital and temporal lobes. And it is essential for coordinating muscle movements as well as maintaining posture and balance.
The brain stem is essential for regulating autonomic functions such as breathing, heart rate, and digestion. So those involuntary processes in the body. It also facilitates communication between the cerebrum and cerebellum and the spinal cord.
All right, you guys ready for another quiz? I have three questions for you based on the material that I presented in this video. First question, what area in the frontal lobe controls speech function? The answer is Broca's area. Question number two, what part of the brain controls autonomic functions such as breathing and heart rate? The answer is the brain stem, which we just talked about. So hopefully you got that one right. Question number three, what lobe in the cerebrum contains the visual cortex? The answer is the occipital lobe.
All right. That's it for the quiz and for this video. I hope it's been helpful. If so, be sure to like this video and leave me a comment. Take care and good luck with studying.
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