Brain Structures and Functions Worksheet

Below you will see two columns: Brain Structure and Function(s). Items listed under the column, “Brain Structure” will list a region of the brain, while items under the column titled “Function(s)” will describe the general behavior, skill, and/or activity of the associated brain structure.

Fill in the blank for each of the statements below, either listing the brain structure responsible for the function described, or providing the general function (behavior, skill, and/or activity) of the associated brain structure.

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Brain Structure Function(s)
Meninges The protective layers of membrane that envelope the central nervous system
Cranium and Vertebral Column Protective bone around the central nervous system
Ventricles Hollow spaces in the brain filled with cerebral spinal fluid (CSF)
Occipital Lobe The visual processing area of the brain, housing most of the visual cortex
Frontal Lobe The lobe involved in organization, planning, and inhibition control
Temporal Lobe The lobe involved in hearing, language comprehension, and memory
Parietal Lobe Encompasses the dorsal stream of the vision and somatosensory cortex; and is implicated in visuospatial navigation
Limbic System A “system” (also known as the piriform lobe or 5th lobe) involved in complex emotion behaviors
Spinal Cord The part of the central nervous system that relays neural activity from the peripheral nervous system to the brain; and is also implicated in reflexive behavior
Optic Chiasm The point at the base of the hypothalamus where the nasal halves of each optic nerve cross, creating a redundant center field of vision and combining visual information from both optic nerves to create a single left and right field of vision.
Crotid Artery Provides the brain with oxygen and nourishment (food)
Corpus Callosum The largest white matter structure in the brain, which connects the left and right hemispheres of the cortex
Cranial Nerves These 12 structures receive and send sensory and motor signals between the body and brain 
Hippocampus Involved in learning, short term memory, spatial memory, and damaged by Alzheimer’s disease
Thalamus The relay station, with a filter/conversion function, between several sensory cortexes in the cerebral cortex and the rest of the brain.
Hypothalamus An old brain structure that controls hormone release through the pineal gland and controls a great deal of the autonomic nervous system
Peripheral Nervous System “System” divided into two main parts: the somatic nervous system and autonomic nervous system
Brain Stem Controls basic functions like breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure
Olfactory nerve (Cranial Nerve I) Shortest cranial nerve and one of only two cranial nerves that does not enter the brain stem (the other being the optic nerve), which relays information from the olfactory bulb to the central nervous system
Cerebellum   Latin for “little brain” this structure is involved in balance, posture, and movement
Medulla Oldest part of the brainstem and controls cardiac function and respiration as well as housing many descending and transcending nerve pathways
Reticular Activating System Involved in sleep and dreams
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CFS) Fluid which nourishes the brain, excretes waste, provides cushion, and buoyancy to the brain
Cerebral cortex The structure of the brain which is most implicated in learning, memory, and language; and housing the sensory cortexes and enables voluntary movement through the pyramidal tract.
Neurons   Cells of the nervous system that send messages through electrochemical signals
Dendrite Projections from the cell body of a neuron, which receive electrochemical stimulation from other neurons
Axon Long, slender protrusion from a neuron, which conducts neural impulses away from the soma towards the axonal terminals
Neurotransmitter Chemical messenger released from the neuron that are involved in all types of behavior/activity
Soma The cell body of a neuron, which maintains the resting potential of a neuron and consequently initiates an action potential
Terminal The end of the axon which borders the synapses and emits neurotransmitters and electrochemical impulses to communicate with the next neuron
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Wickens, A. (2005). Foundations of biopsychology, 2e. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Hall.

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