How do you remember the way to your friend’s house? Why do your eyes blink without you ever thinking about it? Where do dreams come from? Your brain is in charge of these things and a lot more. Your brain is the boss of your body. It runs the whole show and controls just about everything you do, even when you’re asleep. Not bad for something that looks like a big, wrinkly, gray sponge and only weighs about 2.9 lb (1.3 kg)!
Your brain contains billions of nerve cells called neurons that carry signals to and from different parts of your body through your central nervous system. Your brain triples in weight between birth and adulthood. As it grows, it wrinkles up to fit your skull, which acts as a protective
crash helmet. If you could stretch it out, your brain would cover an ironing board.
Shock absorbing liquid fills the space between the brain and skull. When you learn to do something you create connections between cells and your brain. Next time you do it the connections are already there so it is easier.
The cerebrum is the main part of your brain. It gets and stores information and also controls your movements.
The cerebrum is also responsible for thinking, speaking, and performing complicated tasks such as sums.
Your cerebellum helps you to balance and move your muscles. You use this bit of your brain when you dance.
Whatever else you do, the brain stem makes sure your heart and breathing never stop.
With all the other things it does, is it any surprise that the brain runs your emotions? Maybe you got the exact toy you wanted for your birthday and you were really happy. Or your friend is sick and you feel really sad. Or your little brother messed up your room, so you’re really angry! Where do these feelings come from? Your brain of course.
So what can you do for your brain? Plenty.
- Eat healthy foods. They contain potassium and calcium, two minerals that are important for the nervous system.
- Get a lot of playtimes (exercise).
- Wear a helmet when you ride your bike or play other sports that require head protection.
- Use your brain by doing challenging activities, such as puzzles, reading, playing music, making art, or anything else that gives your brain a workout!