Anatomy of the Brain - Cerebrum

Cerebrum Brain
This image shows the cerebrum of a human brain from a left frontal view. Credit: Auscape/UIG/Getty Images

Cerebrum

The cerebrum, also known as the telencephalon, is the largest and most highly developed part of the human brain. It encompasses about two-thirds of the brain mass and lies over and around most of the structures of the brain. The cerebrum is divided into right and left hemispheres that are connected by the corpus callosum.

The outer portion (1.5mm to 5mm) of the cerebrum is covered by a thin layer of gray tissue called the cerebral cortex.

The cerebral cortex is in turn divided into four lobes: frontal lobes, parietal lobes, temporal lobes, and occipital lobes. The cerebrum or telencephalon, along with the diencephalon comprise the two major divisions of prosencephalon (forebrain).

Function

The cerebrum is involved in several functions of the body including:

  • Determining Intelligence
  • Determining Personality
  • Thinking
  • Reasoning
  • Producing and Understanding Language
  • Interpretation of Sensory Impulses
  • Motor Function
  • Planning and Organization
  • Processing Sensory Information

The cerebral cortex handles a number of important brain functions. Among these function is the processing of sensory information by the cortex lobes. Limbic system brain structures located beneath the cerebrum also assist in sensory information processing. These structures include the amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus. Limbic system structures use sensory information to process emotions and connect our emotions with memories.

The frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex are responsible for complex cognitive planning and behaviors, language comprehension, speech production, and the planning and control of voluntary muscle movement. Nerve connections with the spinal cord and brainstem allow the cerebrum to receive sensory information from the peripheral nervous system.

The cerebrum processes this information and relays signals that produce the appropriate response.

Location

Directionally, the cerebrum and the cortex that covers it is the uppermost part of the brain. It is the anterior portion of the forebrain and is superior to other brain structures such as the pons, cerebellum and medulla oblongata.

More Information:

For additional information on the cerebrum, see:

Divisions of the Brain

  • Forebrain - encompasses the cerebral cortex and brain lobes.
  • Midbrain - connects the forebrain to the hindbrain.
  • Hindbrain - regulates autonomic functions and coordinates movement.