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The Brain

The Brain

Author: Meg O'Mahony

In order to demonstrate an understanding and function of the human brain, you need to be able to:

  1. describe the location, main parts of and functions of the following divisions of the human brain:
    • forebrain - including the
      • cerebrum  and its 4 lobes:
        • frontal,
        • parietal,
        • occipital,
        • temporal
      • corpus callosum
      • somatosensory cortex
      • primary motor cortex
      • thalamus,      
      • hypothalamus.
    • midbrain
      • hippocampus
      • amydala
    • hindbrain -
      • cerebellum,
      • medulla oblongata,
      • pons
  2.  identify the parts of a brain on both a diagram and a dissected brain.

This tutorial will differ from the others in that it will be more exploratory on your end rather than receiving a lecture.  To prepare for the class, complete the data sheet about the brain parts and functions.  During the class, you will be reviewing the brain parts and functions, dissecting a sheep brain.

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This brief tutorial will highlight the major areas of the mammalian brain. Much of the work will be done in class with the activity and dissection.

Source: M. O'Mahony, open source images

Dr Art - If you know my Name, then you've got a Brain

Ah, another lovely song from Dr. Art. Sing-a-long everyone!


Source: by Arthur W. Siebens, Ph.D., Copyright 2001

Labelled DIagrams

Set of Diagrams for Class work.


Source: open source images

Brain: Anatomy and Function

Activity to learn the parts of the brain as well as their function. This activity uses the 3D brain for information. The worksheet below is modified from that on the website.


Source: M. O'Mahony, 3D Brain (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. All rights reserved.)

3D Brain

Excellent interactive activity - on everything!

Source: Cold Spring Harbor Laboration: Genes to Cognition Online

Sheep Brain Dissection

This website from the Exploratorium is an exceptional visual explanation of the sheep brain dissection!  You will be using it to help guide you during your dissection in the lab.

Source: Exploratorium

Sheep Brain Dissection - use for diagrams

Sheep Brain Virtual Dissection


Diagram - sheep brain sagittal section

Excellent visual to be labelled.
You will receive hard copies of this in class.


Dorsal Brain section to label

Excellent diagram of the dorsal section of the brain - to be labelled.
You will be given hard copies of this in class.


Sheep Brain ventral section to label

Excellent diagram.
You will be given hard copies of this for this class.


Sheep Brain Tutorial - support Site

Source: url above

Neural Control of Walking and Running

This "Click and Learn" activity from HHMI explores how your brain controls not only how one walks, but how one can switch between different gaits.

Source: HHMI, link above

Making your Mind: Molecules, Motion and Memory

This link is to an HHMI webpage where a recent Holiday Lecture Series is posted.  Each of the "lectures" is just shy of an hour long.

Mapping Memory in the Brain
by Eric R. Kandel, MD

The history of localization of function in the brain, and research that led to the understanding of localization of memory.

(Duration: 58 min 29 sec)
Building Brains: The Molecular Logic of Neural Circuits
by Thomas M. Jessell, PhD

How a nerve cell gets its identity, sends axons, and makes connections with other cells. (Duration: 58 min 29 sec)

Plan of Action: How the Spinal Cord Controls Movement
by Thomas M. Jessell, PhD

Understanding the neural circuits in the spinal cord that control movement.(Duration: 58 min 29 sec)

Memories are Made of This
by Eric R. Kandel, MD

The cellular and molecular nature of learning and memory, investigated in simpler sea slugs and more-complex mice.
(Duration: 58 min 29 sec)

Neurobiology and Mental Illness
by Eric R. Kandel, MD and Thomas M. Jessell, PhD

The lecturers, joined by Dr. Kay Jamison of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Dr. Gerald Fischbach of the...  (duration: 1 hr 25 min 59 sec)

Source: HHMI website (url above)

The Brain is You: A Most Complex System

A simple overview of the brain.
There are 6 different videos as part of this series. I've added a couple of the videos to this lesson. They are superficial, but interesting and short.

Source: BioEd Online

Your Brain is You; Meet Your Brain

This is an overview of the parts of the brain and their roles.

Source: BioEd Online

Your Brain is You: Neuron to Neuron

This is an overview of how the brain works. It is simplistic, but nice.

Source: BioEd Online

The Brain is You: Learning and Memory

This is definitely worth a watch!
It's a useful summary of how you make and recall memories. Be aware tho, it also shows how little we really know about this process still.

Source: BioEd Online