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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds So this video is to give you a bit of orientation with a human brain. And here is a plastic model, but it’s a life-size model, and we can see some very characteristic and classic features of the brain here. So a few things to notice. Here is the front, so here would be the rear– obviously the two sides. And we can see here where the brain is connected with the spinal cord running through your neck. So what features can we see from this model? Well rather characteristically what we can see is that the brain is divided into two halves.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 seconds What we could also see, of course, is this amazing folded appearance, and this folded appearance is fairly characteristic of the human brain. The folds are mostly subtly different between one brain and another, but some of them are pretty consistent. Of note is this one. Here this is a groove, a deep groove, known as the lateral sulcus. And sulcus is the technical name for groove, plural being sulci. There’s another one here marked in purple, and that’s known as the central sulcus. And again, the central sulcus and the lateral sulcus we would find in pretty much any human being’s brain.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 seconds And because these things are so consistent, a long time ago it was recognised that these sort of delineated, if you like, areas of the brain, and this gave rise to the concept of the lobes of the brain. So we have here at the front the frontal lobe. Here below the lateral sulcus, we have the temporal lobe. Here we have to parietal lobe, and right at the back is the occipital lobe. And later on in this course when we look at functions, we will see that functions can sometimes be allocated, if you like, to these lobes. Now if we take a look inside the brain– and this model fortunately comes apart– what we can see is there is also internal structure.

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 seconds So of note, this folded appearance comes over into the internal surface that goes down between those two splits in the brain. And we can also see within the brain there are other structures. And again, we’re going to look at those structures, what we think they do, and what the consequences of damages to particular ones of these structures can mean for function.

What does the brain look like?

This video introduces the external features of the brain and the concept of lobes.

If you’re interested, you can find a more detailed 3D model of the brain here:

Genes to Cognition Online

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This video is from the free online course:

Good Brain, Bad Brain: Basics

University of Birmingham