Which Part Of The Brain Controls Balance And Posture?
Standing straight, maintaining balance, and walking are all natural processes to humans. We don't usually think about them in our daily lives. But, did it ever occur to you how do you manage to do any sport or stand on one foot? Or how quick your reflexes are that you don't fall down every time you stumble? In this article, we are going to explore which part of the brain controls balance and posture. Read on to know some interesting facts!
How does the Brain Work?
In a gist, your brain controls everything. It controls your ability to think, feel, talk, hear, see, remember things, walk, and many more. Your brain even controls your breathing.
The brain is a spongy mass holding tissues and nerves connected to your spinal cord. Some of these nerves connect directly to your eyes, ears, and other parts of your head; other nerves connect with the different parts of your body through the spinal cord controlling your senses, personality, and body functions from breathing to walking.
Together, your brain, spinal cord, and nerves form part of the central nervous system.
What are the Main Parts of the Brain?
The brain has three main parts:
- Brain stem
Which Part of the Brain Controls Balance and Posture, Plus Coordination?
Did you know that maintaining balance is a very difficult and complicated process that is happening in your brain? It involves multiple parts of your brain performing and happens as a result of your brain communicating with your environment.
If you are curious about which part of the brain controls balance and posture, that main part of your brain is the Cerebellum.
But, other parts of the brain that help out too. The brain stem is also responsible for the development of healthy breathing practices and balance as well.
The Cerebellum, which is also known as your "little brain," is located at the back of your cranium or your head, above the amygdala (a part of your brain which controls emotions). Besides controlling balance and posture, the Cerebellum is also responsible for monitoring your voluntary movements, eye movements, and speech control.
Balance and Hearing
Which part of the brain controls balance and posture as well? The temporal lobes are part of the cerebrum, which is in charge of processing sounds. The audio stimuli pass through your ears and move directly into the primary auditory cortex located in your temporal lobes.
But how do the temporal lobes affect balance?
Have you ever experienced hearing a loud bang and automatically found yourself drifting away from the origin of the noise?
That’s your temporal lobe at work. Your temporal lobe is directly attached to the cerebellum by neural pathways. This connection enables you to quickly react to loud noise.
Balance and Posture
As mentioned earlier, the Cerebellum does not work alone. It controls your equilibrium by connecting sensory data from the outside world.
These pieces of information come from your eyes, ears, muscles, and joints. Once these pieces of information are sent to the Cerebellum, it processes them and transmits them back to your body, instructing it how to remain balanced during a particular move.
For example, if you are standing on one foot, your muscles and joints use receptors that are called proprioceptors. These receptors gather information about the position of your body. These receptors then transmit the information back to the Cerebellum, which makes you automatically adjust your position by shifting your body weight or even stretching your arms to maintain your balance.
Now, try standing on one foot with your eyes closed. It's more challenging to stay in that position, isn't it? This is mainly because you have limited the information that goes to the Cerebellum. It's now incapable of using visual information from your eyes and has lost a bit of the spatial orientation.
The brain is an amazing part of the human body. This three-pound organ is more than just our think tank. It gives us meanings to things that happen around us. Through our senses, it receives messages, often multiple at the same time. It does not just control our thoughts, memory, and speech, and all, but even our balance and posture as well.
Typically, we are not aware of these processes that occur in our brain — they just happen reflexively and automatically. But we will become more aware of them when we train and exercise — especially those that involve a high level of coordination like doing a pose during a yoga practice. One has to use her surroundings to perform the move well without losing balance, and that's no easy feat!
So we hope that this article was able to answer your curiosity on which part of the brain controls balance and posture.
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