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Head Work

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Take the cap off the skull and put the brain back together. Can you identify the different parts?

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This life size model of a brain has been directly cast from a human. The largest part of the brain is the cerebrum which is split into two hemispheres. Below this is the brain stem and behind this you will find the cerebellum.

The Cerebrum

The largest portion of the brain is called the cerebrum- see if you can find where it separates into 2 hemispheres. The cerebrum is largely made out of folded grey matter known as the cerebral cortex; these folds (or gyri) give the brain its wrinkled appearance and increase its surface area. This allows us to fit more neurons inside our skull and have higher brain function than animals with less folds in their brain. Not all of the cerebrum is made from grey matter however; beneath the grey matter we find white matter. White matter gets its name from the fatty myelin sheath covering its surface and is largely composed of nerves, connecting the 2 cerebral hemispheres via the corpus callosum.

The Cerebellum and Brainstem

Sometimes referred to as the “little brain”, this area contains over 50% of the total number of neurons in the brain. It is involved in the maintenance of balance and posture, coordination of muscle movements, motor learning and some cognitive functions such as language. The brainstem acts as a relay centre, connecting the cerebrum and the cerebellum to the spinal cord. It is made up of several components and performs many automatic functions including breathing, heart rate, body temperature, wake and sleep cycles and digestion.

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Look Closer

Welcome to Look Closer, Techniquest's brand new digital tool. We're trialling Look Closer as a way of offering you a closer look at the science demonstrated by many of our exhibits. You'll find visitor sheets, videos, articles on contemporary science as well as fun trails to navigate your way around the exhibition space.

Speak to our Science Communicators to find out more.