The center of our nervous system and daily thoughts, the brain is a complex, magnificent organ. Ask questions about parts of the brain and their functions here.

6,476 Questions
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

What is the function of the vasomotor center?

vasomotor centre is under medullary control and is responsible for vasoconstriction /vasodilatation so that blood pressure is maintained.

Medical Terminology
Spinal Cord

What is the medical term meaning membranes surrounding the brain?

The meninges (from the Greek meninx, meaning "membrane") cover and protect the brain and spinal cord. The meninges have three layers: 1) the dura mater, 2) the arachnoid, and 3) the pia mater. The dura mater is the outermost layer covering the central nervous system. The arachnoid (from the Greek arachne, meaning "spider") is a web-like network of collagen and elastic fibers. The innermost layer of the meninges is the pia mater. The pia mater is firmly attached to the neural tissue of the spinal cord and brain. Cerebrospinal fluid fills the space between the pia matter and the arachnoid membrane. Most of the blood vessels that supply blood to the central nervous system are in the pia mater.

The outermost layer of the brain membrane (meninges) is the dura mater, "tough mother". The middle layer of meninges is the arachnoid (spider) mater which helps stabilize the brain inside the skull. Finally the pia mater overlies the brain directly.

Sleep and Circadian Rhythm
Idioms, Cliches, and Slang

Does "sleeping on it" improve decision making?

Although the science isn't completely conclusive, recent research suggests that sleep can, in fact, improve problem solving.

A 2018 study from the University of Bristol looked at a group's performance on mental tasks before and after taking a 90 minute nap. When compared with a group that stayed awake for the same amount of time, the nappers did markedly better on their repeated task, which indicated to the researchers that the brain did process some of that information as they slept.

Keep in mind, though, that with only 16 participants, more studies are needed to be able to confidently generalize these specific results. More broadly, sleep has been widely proven to help with memory, learning, and judgement, which will all come in handy the next time you have to make a difficult decision.

What affects the accuracy of memory?

Human memory is an amazing thing, but there are many ways memory can fail. Here is a brief explanation of Daniel Schacter's "seven sins of memory."

Three sins of forgetting:

  1. Encoding failure from absent-mindedness. If we paid attention to every single detail it would be really overwhelming, so oftentimes certain information never enters our long-term memories and thus we cannot recall it later.
  2. Storage decay over time, which is called transience. Oftentimes the memory we have successfully stored is just forgotten later on. This is usually caused by lack of rehearsal (e.g. using the Spanish vocabulary you learned three years ago) and a weakening of neural connections.
  3. Blocking or retrieval failure. When we are given a lot of similar information, we may store everything but it can be difficult to recall one particular thing out of a large collection. We learn a lot of names in our lives but cannot always remember them all. New information can interfere with recalling old information, and vice versa. Retrieval cues, such as seeing the face of the person, may help.

Three sins of distortion:

  1. Misattribution. If you've ever thought Sally disliked chocolate when it was really Hannah, you've misattributed your information. When we encode memories, different aspects are distributed to the part of the brain that deals with that type of info. In these cases, the source part of the memory hasn't been sent correctly.
  2. False memories due to our suggestibility. Sometimes we are given or imagine misinformation and incorporate it into our memory, so later on we remember it as true.
  3. Bias can also distort our recollections. If students are given cumbersome projects periodically throughout the year, they may remember the teacher as tough or unfair despite having a lot of fun in the class initially.

    One sin of intrusion:

  4. Persistence of unwanted memories. If we are reliving memories constantly, the theory would be that they stay accurate and fresh in the mind. However there is a likelihood for our imaginations to get away with us and exaggerate/add details - particularly with unwanted or fear-inducing memories.

Is it true that we only use 10 percent of our brains?

Nope! Humans use their whole brains for a wide variety of functions. It’s unclear where this myth started, but it’s been proven false by numerous brain scans showing that the brain is in near-constant complete use.

It is true, however, that only 10 percent of the cells in the brain are neurons; the other 90 percent are support cells called glial cells, but it’s not entirely clear what those are for. It’s also true that there are particular moments where you might only be using 10 percent of your brain, like if you’re sitting still and just daydreaming. But the idea that there’s 90 percent more intelligence tucked away in your grey matter somewhere, and if you could unlock it somehow you’d be the next Einstein—that’s a total myth.

Endocrine System
Nervous System

How fast are hormonal responses?

Slower than nervous responses.

Varies according to what hormone, for example the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline) works almost instantaneously to initiate increased mental alertness among other things. Some hormones take longer to take effect but most take action relatively quickly seconds -> hour

Surgery and Hospitalization

How much does brain surgery cost in the U.S?

This varies greatly depending upon the type of surgery that is done. There are dozens and dozens of different neurosurgical procedures on the brain.


What is the largest part of the brain?

The cerebrum is the largest and most developed part of the brain. It, unfolded, has the surface area of four school desks. It makes up 85% of the brain's weight. It's the center of judgment, reasoning, complex learning, abstract thinking, association, interpretation of sensory information, speech, learning and memory, and also controls voluntary actions, like how you think and move. It's made of two halves, the left and right cerebral hemispheres.


How do you pee yourself on purpose?

Spread your legs and pee


Is DAI brain damage curable?

Yes, it is curable with a miracle from God Almighty, by His Grace. Other countries may refer to Him by a different name. Prayers are His means of our communicating with Him. He knows our prayers before we say them to Him (whether they be in silent thought from our hearts or out loud in privacy or public). Cure being from Him direct through His Supernatural Self, or His Supernature Flawless Self performing through those He has chosen to Perform His Cure (referring to those qualifying as His wonderful earthly Physicians).My nephew Brandon Miley, is a victim of 115 ft. fall; mri recently diagnosed as DAI; he is 21 yrs. old. After studying some sites of medical info regarding such; he is not in the 90% of those who remain in coma and a vegetative state. He is in the 10% state. Further stating, read there is small percentage of the 10%, that continue onward in years with a normal life; referencing to short comings of this or that (many possibilities of occurrences; such as behavior, interval memory loss or permanent; all sorts, depending upon the area of brain damages and etc.; which can occur quickly after traumatic brain injury accident, or yrs. later. Thus, will say, I pray for all folks reading this who are experiencing as we are with our loved one. I also pray for you wonderful professional folks in the brain medical field. Above all, Our Prayers continue to be lifted to Elohim (God); for He is the Magnificent Creator of We All. Nothing is impossible with HE at the Stem. I thank you and have said all, in Jesus Name. Amen+

Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened Species

Why aren't elephants smarter than humans?

Because they have no ability to think and act as humans.


The intelligence of elephants is well known. Their brains are as complex and larger than those of humans. They exhibit many traits of human intelligent behaviour:

  • grief
  • learning
  • allomothering
  • mimicry
  • art
  • play
  • a sense of humor
  • altruism
  • use of tools
  • compassion
  • cooperation
  • self-awareness
  • sense of family and tribe
  • memory
  • language

The question is then"Are they smarter than humans." which presupposes that humans are the benchmark of intelligence. In that elephant intelligent behaviour exceeds human behaviour in many aspects in that they:

  • don't kill or murder
  • are loyal
  • can survive without technology
  • don't steal
  • care for their ill and aged

it may be that they are smarter than humans.


Do women like men with out foreskin?

Depends on the woman. I happen to really like men - so I have to say that I think they are perfect the way they are made...foreskin intact. I don't see how anyone can truly love & appreciate the male gender/male body & then want them to cut off a part of their genitals to be "good enough". Makes zero sense to me. My husband is circed & I am fine with that because I love HIM. I would not rule a man out because of his foreskin status. But if I had a choice, I would choose an intact man because as I said, it is how a man is SUPPOSED to be.

there seems to be definite evidence though that support the point that intact men have fewer sexual problem that lead to the discomfort of women when having sex, the foreskin has an ability to hold onto the females natural lubricants which leads to her being more comfortable during the act. the mans los of sensitivity also ( in some cases) leads to a situation where the man has to keep going far to long for the females comfort to reach orgasm leading to dry painful sex. naturaly premature ejaculation is also common with circumcised men as they don't have controll over the remanents of the foreskins ravaged nerve ends concentrated in the circumcision scar. this does not mean however that many women don't appreciate their lovers any way.

Head, Ears, and Nose

What does it mean if you can feel a lump on the right side of your skull above your ear?


If it is new, any new lump anywhere on your body should be discussed with your doctor.

If it is painful or soft, it could be anything from a tumor to an ingrown hair. If you have been in a car accident and had glass cuts on your head, it is possible to have pieces of glass work it's way back to the surface of the skin even years later.

If it is hard, does not move then you press on it, and feels like part of the skull, it probably is part of the skull. The human skull is made up of several different bones which are rarely perfectly smooth. Where those bones grew together in your childhood can cause irregularities on the surface of the skull, some of which can be felt through the skin.


I have had a lump above my ear for a week. At 1st it was not painful and flesh colour, after a few days it became a little painful and reddish. I went to my GP today and found that it is an impetigo, a benign infection of the skin that is not harmful but can't usually clear on its own and can spread to other parts of the body or to others. The GP has prescribed me an antibiotic cream and he reckons the lump will be gone in 3 days. In any case , get lumps checked out as you can't really get a diagnosis unless an expert looks at it

Hope this helped a bit.

ANSWER: Sometimes, it can mean you have swollen lymph nodes. I do. Don't panic, just talk to your physician.

Conditions and Diseases

How long does it take to recover from a medically induced coma?

The coma itself, if medically-induced can usually be quickly reversed (in an adult who is otherwise fairly healthy) by giving medication to counteract the drug used (e.g., Narcan for opioid narcotics) or by allowing the drug used to "wear off", since these are usually short acting drugs if not continually given in repeat doses. Depending on the reason for induction, full recovery may require additional treatment for the other conditions present even after the patient is fully brought out of the coma itself.


Do ants have brains?

Ants have a main brain and several smaller brains that run along the length of their bodies called, "ganglia". The ganglia are little assistant brains to the main brain. The brain inside the ants head controls things like smell, sight and touch, but the smaller brains control, to some degree movement of the ant. Have you ever noticed that an ant will continue to twitch if you step on it? Even if the head is separated from the ants body, the legs will still twitch. This is because the smaller brains (ganglia) are still telling the ants legs to move!


How do you unlock different parts of your brain?

Well, all of the parts of your brain are already unlocked because that what helps you move your body and breathe plus speaking, eating, talking and everything else.

Human Anatomy and Physiology

What would you expect for an individual if the parietal cells were not functioning?

Not to be able to initiate protein digestion in the stomach

Brain Teasers and Logic Puzzles
Word Brain Teasers

In a brain teaser what is endssdne?

Making Ends Meet

Mental Health
Nutritional Measurement

What part of the brain makes you happy?


Head, Ears, and Nose

What may cause numbness in your right side of head while sitting down?

It could your sciatic nerve or a pinched nerve in your back. You should see your doctor and then possibly a Chiropractor.

Depression and Bipolar Disorder

What is another name for bipolar?

Manic-depression. Bi-Polar Disorder can be difficult for the individual experiencing the symptoms and for their friends and family. Bipolar Disorder is a complex illness and there is a range of severity. There are many different symptoms -- and several different types -- of bipolar disorder. The most common symptoms of the disorder are dramatic and unpredictable mood swings. The various types of bipolar disorder range from mild to severe.

If you think that you or someone you know is expereincing symptoms of Bi-polar Disorder then you should reach out to a professional. The symptoms of Bi-Polar Disorder can be treated effectively with counseling and medication.

Human Anatomy and Physiology
Nervous System

What are the major organs of the nervous system?


The main organs of the nervous system are the brain and the spinal cord. The nervous system controls the actions and feelings of all parts of your body. It helps you have thoughts, feelings, and memory.

Example: You touch a cactus when you are a baby. Your hand senses it and sends a message to the brain. The brain signals your hand to stop touching it. You can feel the pain because of the nervous system and it reminds you to not do it again.

Consumer Electronics
Mobile Phones

Is there any technology to control the brain waves?

There is a technology called brainwave entrainment that uses audio to alter or influence brainwave activity. Basically, you listen to a special audio CD with a pair of stereo headphones. In one channel a particular frequency is introduced, and in the other a slightly different frequency is played. The difference between the two signals is called a beat frequency. The developers say that the brain interprets this beat frequency, and causes brainwave synchronization at the beat frequency between the two hemispheres of the brain. There are a number of commercial producers of these disks. Hemi-Sync, HoloSync and Dr. Jeffrey Thompson are some of the more well known producers. I've tried them and found them to be very relaxing. Whether this is due to a measurable effect on my brainwaves I don't know but there is something happening when I listen. I prefer the Jeffrey Thompson CDs because they are more musical. Visit their websites for more info. There are also software packages that allow you to create you own brainwave entrainment audio. Yes. It's called the electric chair, and it makes the brain waves stop very quickly. I loved the last answer best but yes there is. It's called an alphawave inducer. Basically, a set of flashing lights that fill your entire field of view (that parts important) and that blink between 3 and 7hz. The blinking lights cause the brainwaves to sync with them. I've built one once using plans from an electronics mag and bought one that I use now for about $50. There are also high end devices (called NovaPro or something like it) that do the same thing for hundreds of bucks. And yes they really do work. Great for relieving stress or getting rid of a tension headache. The first one I built was a set of swim googles with leds in the center of them and a rubber coating poured over them. The electronics was a quick 555 timer circuit run off a 9 volt battery. Nothing complicated.


What is the function of the medulla oblongata?

The medulla oblongata is the most vital part of the brain because it is the control center for breathing, blood pressure and heart beat among other involuntary body functions not under conscious control. Because these functions are necessary for human life, damage to the medulla oblongata can be fatal.

There is only one medulla oblongata in the brain. The medulla connects the brain and the spinal cord, and is the lower half of the brainstem.

Respiration - chemoreceptors

Cardiac center - sympathetic, parasympathetic system

Vasomotor center - baroreceptors

Reflex centers of vomiting, coughing, sneezing, and swallowing


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