Parts of the Brain And Their Functions Cheat Sheet

The brain has three parts, they are, cerebrum (cerebral cortex), the brain stem, and the cerebellum. It collects, integrates, and interprets all stimuli; in addition, it initiates and monitors voluntary and involuntary motor activity.

The cerebrum gives us the ability to think and reason. Within the skull, it’s enclosed in three membrane layers called meninges. If blood or fluid accumulates between these layers, pressure builds inside the skull and compromises brain function. The cerebrum has four lobes and two hemispheres. The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body. Each lobe controls and coordinates specific functions.

The lobes of the cerebrum:

The cerebrum’s four lobes — the parietal, occipital, temporal, and frontal lobes — are discerned by anatomic landmarks and functional differences. The name of each lobe is derived from the overlying cranial bone. This illustration shows the locations of the cerebral lobes and explains their functions. It also shows the location of the cerebellum.

Frontal Lobe:

The frontal lobe is the area of the brain responsible for higher cognitive functions.
These include:
• Problem solving
• Spontaneity
• Memory
• Language
• Motivation
• Judgment
• Impulse control
• Social and sexual behaviour

Temporal Lobe:

The temporal lobe plays a role in emotions, and is also responsible for smelling, tasting, perception, memory, understanding music, aggressiveness, and sexual behaviour.
The temporal lobe also contains the language area of the brain.

Parietal Lobe:

The parietal Lobe plays a role in our sensations of touch, smell, and taste. It also processes sensory and spatial awareness, and is a key component in eye-hand co-ordination and arm movement.
The parietal lobe also contains a specialized area called Wernicke’s area that is responsible for matching written words with the sound of spoken speech.

Occipital Lobe:

The occipital lobe is at the rear of the brain and controls vision and recognition.

Limbic Lobe:

The limbic lobe is located deep in the brain, and makes up the limbic system.


The visual cortex resides in the occipital lobe of the brain. Sensory impulses travel from the eyes via the optic nerve to the visual cortex.
Damage to the visual cortex can result in blindness.


The gustatory complex (green circle) is the part of the sensory cortex (purple area) that is responsible for taste.
The prefrontal cortex is involved with intellect, complex learning, and personality. Injuries to the front lobe can cause mental and personality changes.


Emotion are an extremely complex brain function. The emotional core of the brain is the limbic system. This is where senses and awareness are first processed in the brain. Mood and personality are mediated through the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is the center of higher cognitive and emotional functions.


Broca’s area is where we formulate speech and the area of the brain that sends motor instructions to the motor cortex. Injury to Broca’s area can cause difficulty in speaking. The individual may know what words he or she wishes to speak, but will be unable to do so.


Wernicke’s area is a specialized portion of the parietal lobe that recognizes and understands written and spoken language. Wernicke’s area surrounds the auditory association area. Damage to this part of the brain can result in someone hearing speech, but not understanding it.


There are two auditory areas of the brain: the primary auditory area ( brown circle) is what detects sounds that are transmitted from the ear. It is located in the sensory cortex.
The auditory association area ( purple circle) is the part of the brain that is used to recognize the sounds as speech, music, or noise.

Motor Cortex:

The motor portion of the cerebrum is illustrated here. The light red area is the premotor cortex, which is responsible for repetitive motions of learned motor skills. The dark red area is the primary motor area, and is responsible for control of skeletal muscles.
Different areas of the brain are associated with different parts of the body. Injury to the motor cortex can result in motor disturbance in the associated body part.

Sensory Cortex:

The sensory portion of the cerebrum is illustrated here. Different areas of the brain are associated with different parts of the body, as can be seen below. Injury to the sensory cortex can result in sensory disturbance in the associated body part.

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