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What Is the Cerebrum?

Envisioned and assumed as the brain, the cerebrum is actually a part of the brain. It’s technical name is the telencephalon and it forms the dominant part of the brain. The cerebrum is merely the brain without the cerebellum and brain stem.

The cerebrum is made up of four parts: the limbic system, the basal ganglia, the olfactory bulb and the cerebral cortex. Most sensory functions and complex learned behaviors are neurologicallay implemented in the cerebrum.

The largest part of the cerebrum is the cerebral cortex, which makes up the surface of the brain. The folded surface allows it to compress many neurons into a small space. This is commonly known as the ‘grey matter’ of the brain. The cerebral cortex, is further divided into four lobes: the temporal, occipital, parietal and frontal lobes. They have different functions, but are primarily concerned with processing vision, consolidating sensory data, processing abstract thought and executing movement.

The limbic system in the cerebrum is related to the emotions. The hippocampus is included in the limbic system and it is important for memory. There is also the amygdala which processes certain emotions like those of anxiety and fear. The olfactory bulb within the cerebrum processes information about smells and certain chemical signals largely coming from pheromones. The basal ganglia is found deep inside the central hemisphere of the cerebrum. This is often called the ‘white matter’ of the brain. This white matter is composed of nuclei, the transit points for electrical signals. These are involved with motor and learning functions.

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