The Brain

Functions of the Brain 

Our brain is an organ that weighs about 1.3 kilos and is a soft consistency rather like firm jelly. To protect our brain we have a bony skull. For extra protection we also have 3 membranes padded out with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) between the brain and the skull. 

Our brain controls all the functions of our body:  

  • it directs our actions 
  • it governs our thoughts and feelings
  • it regulates our vital functions 

Different parts of the brain are responsible for different functions. Following a head injury, one or more of these functions can be impaired resulting in loss of function and varying degrees of disability. 

Knowing how the brain works is especially important when dealing with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). It helps us have a better understanding of what has happened and why. It equips us when talking to medical and health professionals and helps make more informed decisions about the future. 

Here is a fun way to test you brain knowledge. Click here to go to ABC Science quizz 

Parts of the Brain 


The word "cerebrum" is the Latin word for "brain”

The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and is divided into to hemispheres or halves. The right half controls the left hand side of the body and the left controls the right.

The surface of each hemisphere or half of the cerebrum is covered with ridges and grooves. The cerebrum can also be divided into four lobes – as shown in the diagram.

The frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes are named according to the skull bones that cover them.



Frontal Lobe
behind the forehead

  • higher level thinking
  • initiating and planning movement and actions
  • controls impulses, emotions and appropriate behaviour
  • necessary for speaking

Parietal Lobe
top of the head

  • touching and feeling
  • focussing attention
  • mathmatical problems
  • spacial awareness

Occipital Lobe
back of the brain

  • eyesight
  • making sense of the information we see with our eyes

Temporal Lobe
side of the brain

  • hearing
  • making sense of the information we hear with our ears
  • store for memory

attached to the brain stem

  • coordinating movement
  • smooth movements of arms and legs
  • balance

Brain Stem
base of the skull

  • regulates bodies vital functions
  • connects brain to spinal cord
  • movement of face and throat