How Our Minds Work How our brains work, what our minds do while sleeping, how we remember things, and what the main parts of your brain are and what they do

By Bo Pilarczyk

You sit in class listening to your teacher when you zone out and start thinking, how do our brains work? Our brains are very complicated, yet very special. According to Dr. Freudenrich and Dr. Boyd, they say, “Your brain is made of approximately 100 billion nerve cells, called neutrons. Neutrons have the amazing ability to gather and transmit electrochemical signals -- think of them like the gates and wires in a computer.” This proves that our brains are very complicated and important. Without a brain, you literally cannot survive. Not only that, but your brain lets you do everyday tasks such as moving and speaking. In this essay, I will be explaining what our minds do while sleeping, how we remember things, what the main parts of our brains are and what they do, and overall, how our brain works. For example, did you know that there is the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain? It is interesting on how many parts of the brain there are and there are definitely more than three. Though our brains are not the biggest part of our bodies they are definitely one of the most complicated and crucial parts of our bodies.

I Wonder how our Minds work?

Our minds are very complicated. They are so complicated that even Obama created an organization devoted to trying to find out more about the brain. Our brain controls everything from our blood pressure to our heart rate, to our breathing. Us humans have very different brains compared to an animal like a lobster or worm. Simple creatures have basic nervous systems. Animals like lobsters have a greater brain than creatures like worms, but their brains are still small. More simple creatures, on the other hand, have chains of ganglia, or a structure containing nerve cell bodies. Finally, creatures such as fish or birds don’t think as much as warning themselves to stay alive. They warn themselves if they need to do things like eating or sleeping. Another interesting thing about our brain is how they make connections. Connections are made from neutrons linking the sensory inputs and motor outputs. I know this because according to Dr. Freudenrich and Dr. Boyd, they say “In the case of the brain, the connections are made by neutrons that link the sensory inputs and motor outputs with centers in the various lobes of the cerebral cortex.” This proves my thinking. Our brains are crucial to our lives.

I Wonder what our mind do while sleeping?

Did you know that when sleeping, our mind is almost as active than when we are awake? I know this because according to Sarah Klein, she says, “Our brains are "on" throughout the night, especially in that dream-heavy REM sleep, Barone says, when they're actually almost as active as they are when we're wide awake.” Well, the brain does have to do look at all the things people learn during the day. During the night, while we sleep, our brains go through everything we learned that day to remember the important things. Also, when sleeping, our brain slows down our breathing and heart rate in order for us to relax. Not only that but with a good night’s sleep, our blood pressure can drop a little. When we go to bed and start sleeping, rather than our brains dreaming with us, they reflect on the day and sort things out.

Zzzzzzzzzz...

I Wonder how we remember things?

You look back from years ago to your memories when you think, how do we remember things? For our brain, there are different types of memories. There are long term memories, working memories, and immediate memories. Long term memories are things that last a long time such as years. Working memories and things you remember for the time it is needed. For example, when you memorise your Chinese test, you aren’t going to remember it for years. Finally, there are immediate memories. Immediate memories are memories that only last for many a couple minutes to an hour. Those are the ones that are not needed and are useless. I know this because in the words of Ashish Ranpura, “Scientists divide memory into categories based on the amount of time the memory lasts: the shortest memories lasting only milliseconds are called immediate memories, memories lasting about a minute are called working memories, and memories lasting anywhere from an hour to many years are called long-term memories.” Some other categories you can sort them into is declarative memories and non-declarative memories. Declarative memories are memories that you have to think to remember like what was your friend wearing a week ago. Non-declarative memories are memories that are automatic, like riding a bicycle. Memories are also formed into groups of scenes. For example, you will remember the smell of something, and when you smell that again on something different, you will likely put those in the same category as a smell.

Hmmm... Remember...

I Wonder what the main parts of the brain are and what they do?

Did you know that there are three main sections that the different brain parts fit into? They are called the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain. In the forebrain, there are the cerebrum, the thalamus, and the hypothalamus. The midbrain includes the tectum and tegmentum. Finally, the hindbrain contains the cerebellum, pons, and medulla. Also, the midbrain, pons, and medulla are also considered the brainstem. Also, the CNS stands for the central nervous system and the PNS stands for the peripheral nervous system. The CNS is made out of the brain and spinal cord, while the PNS is made out of nerves. I know this because in the words of Serendip Studios, they say, “The central nervous system (CNS) is made of the brain and the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) is made of nerves.” This shows what the CNS and PNS are made out of and what it stands for. There are also four lobes that help you do simple everyday tasks. The frontal lobe helps you reason, plan, move, feel emotions, problem solve and helps with part of speaking. The parietal lobe helps you move, recognize things, helps you with orientation, and helps you with the perception of stimuli. The occipital lobe helps you with visual processing. Finally, the temporal lobe helps you with the perception and recognition of auditory stimuli, your memory, and speaking.

The brain is a very complicated and special part of your body. It lets you do many things such as everyday tasks like speaking and moving. Not only does your brain have many parts to it, but you are basically useless without it. Did you know that the cerebral cortex, a part of your brain, helps make your brain be more efficient? This is shown by Serendip Studios who say, “Note that the cerebral cortex is highly wrinkled. Essentially this makes the brain more efficient because it can increase the surface area of the brain and a number of neutrons within it.” This shows that the cerebral cortex helps our brain be more efficient. Our brains are very cool and should not be taken for granted. In this essay, I explained how our minds work, what our minds do while sleeping, how we remember things, and what the main parts of our brain are and what they do. In conclusion, our brains are very powerful and they let you do everything from dreaming to doing.

Credits:

Created with images by IsaacMao - "Brain" • dierk schaefer - "Brain" • IsaacMao - "Child brain" • GreenFlames09 - "Brain Model 4" • Double--M - "Central nervous system drawing circa 1900" • andrewr - "Sleeping" • ruifernandes - "Thinking statues" • ssshadowcopy - "Brain" • return the sun - "Scatterbrain"

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