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Institute on Neuroscience ION/Teach. Build-A-Brain!. This Is Your Brain. Directional Terms. Middle English words for front, back, top and bottom. Nonhuman animals are oriented differently. So are their brains. The Cerebrum. Parietal Lobe perception related to: touch pressure

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Institute on Neuroscience




Directional Terms

Middle English words for front, back, top and bottom


The Cerebrum

  • Parietal Lobe
  • perception related to:
  • touch
  • pressure
  • temperature
  • pain
  • Frontal Lobe
  • reasoning
  • planning
  • parts of speech
  • movement
  • emotions
  • problem-solving
  • Occipital Lobe
  • Vision or sight
  • Temporal Lobe
  • Hearing or audition
  • memory

Lobes are only organized like this in the brains of mammals

brain stem spinal cord
Brain Stem & Spinal Cord
  • Diencephalon
  • -Hypothalamus – the 4 F’s
  • -Thalamus—sensory relay station
  • Midbrain


-Processing visual and

auditory stimuli

-Lower vertebrates: vision


-basal ganglia: motor activity

  • Hindbrain
  • -Pons - ”bridge” (plus nuclei)
  • -Medulla oblongata
  • -Cerebellum
the cerebellum
The Cerebellum
  • Functions:

coordination of balance, locomotion and movement

  • Note:

All vertebrates have a cerebellum which varies in size depending on the class of animals

brain complexity surface area
Brain Complexity & Surface Area
  • Convolutions = folds
  • Increase surface area
  • Reflect more complexity
  • (in cerebrum and/or cerebellum only)

How does this brain compare

to other vertebrate brain models?

vertebrate brain diversity
Brain diversity across vertebrate classes

Size of forebrain related to "intelligence" of species

behavioral complexity?

Compare across species to consider structure-function relations

e.g. olf bulb or cerebellum

Vertebrate Brain Diversity
brain diversity adaptations
Understanding an animal’s behavior or how it interacts with its environment can help you make predictions about what its brain might look like

Knowing about an animal’s brain can help you make predictions about its behavior or sensory systems

Relative brain size is more important than overall brain size

Brain Diversity & Adaptations

Evolutionary increase in relative brain size.

    • Humans and several other animals have much larger brains than expected, based on body mass.
    • Ratio was named the “encephalization quotient”, by H. J. Jerison.
  • Hypothesized reasons:
  • climate change
  • eating fruit!
  • improved
  • vasculature
  • neoteny
how are dog and cat brains different
How are dog and cat brains different?
  • Which do you think has a proportionally larger olfactory bulb?
  • How about cerebral cortex? Which has more wrinkles (convolutions)?
  • How about the cerebellum? Which is bigger? Which has more convolutions?

Sea Lion

Bottle-nose Dolphin


Marine Mammal:

Florida Manatee

consider these brains
Consider These Brains






what do these brains tell you about the behavior of these animals
What do these brains tell you about the behavior of these animals?






now build your own brain
Now Build Your Own Brain!
  • It can be a brain from a real or imaginary creature
  • Supplies: Play-Doh (at least four different colors), your imagination, and hands!
  • What does the relative size of different brain regions say about the environment of the animal?