Funding because that this website is provided by readers favor you.

You are watching: Which part of the brain controls voluntary actions

do a Voluntary motion

Brodmann Areas

Over a lifetime, the assorted parts the the brain that manage the body"s movements can suffer damages from assorted causes, such together head injuries, strokes, and degenerative mind diseases. One common example is what happens as soon as one side of the motor cortex is totally destroyed by a stroke. Because of overcome control, this centre typically controls the voluntary activities on the opposite side of the body. Through this centre destroyed, no more motion is possible; the side that the body becomes fully paralyzed.


All of the body"s voluntary activities are controlled by the brain. One of the mind areas most associated in controlling these voluntary activities is the engine cortex.

The engine cortex is situated in the rear portion of the frontal lobe, just before the central sulcus (furrow) that separates the frontal lobe native the parietal lobe. The motor cortex is split into two main areas, Area 4 and Area 6. Area 4, additionally known together the primary engine cortex, develops a thin band follow me the main sulcus. Area 6 lies immediately forward of Area 4. Area 6 is wider and is more subdivided right into two unique sub-areas.

To carry out goal-directed movements, her motor cortex must first receive various kinds of information from the miscellaneous lobes the the brain: information around the body"s position in space, native the the parietal lobe; around the score to be attained and also an suitable strategy because that attaining it, indigenous the anterior portion of the frontal lobe; around memories of previous strategies, from the temporal lobe; and so on.

In 1870, Hitzig and Fritsch electrically stimulated various parts of a dog"s engine cortex. They observed that depending upon what component of the cortex castle stimulated, a different part of the human body contracted. Climate they discovered that if they damaged this same small area the the cortex, the corresponding component of the body ended up being paralyzed. This is just how it was discovered that every component of the body has a particular region of the primary motor cortex that controls its movement. however what is remarkable around this "motor map" is that details parts that the body—those that can make the ideal movements—take up much much more space than others. These components of the body are shown larger 보다 the rather in the illustration here.

The putamen and also the caudate nucleus are traversed by the myelinated axons of the interior capsule. This bundles that white matter kind stripes that distinguish them from the grey matter of the nuclei the they traverse. That is why this group of neural structures taken together is often referred to as the corpus striatum, or stripe body. Likewise, the form of the putamen and also the globus pallidus recall that of a lens, i m sorry is why these 2 nuclei together are known as the lenticular nucleus.

Learning exactly how To Pique Curiosity


As their surname suggests, the basal ganglia covers a set of neural structures buried deep within the cerebrum. The key basal ganglia room the caudate nucleus, the putamen, and the globus pallidus.


These ganglia, or swarm of nerve cells, room tightly interconnected. They also receive details from several different regions that the cerebral cortex. Once the basal ganglia have processed this information, lock return it come the motor cortex via the thalamus.


One that the likely functions of this loop, i m sorry operates in associate with one more one involving the cerebellum, is to select and trigger well co-ordinated spontaneous movements. This duty of the basal ganglia in initiating and regulating motor regulates becomes plainly apparent in civilization whose basal ganglia have been damaged, such as patients with Parkinson"s disease. These patients display challenge in beginning the movements they have actually planned, and trembling and also slowness when they do start them.

The cerebellum is composed of a variety of lobes and also lobules which, choose the convolutions in the cerebral cortex, rise the surface area that the cerebellar cortex considerably. This large surface area that grey matter gives the cerebellum with a very high thickness of neurons—so high that the cerebellum, i beg your pardon accounts for only about 10% of the brain"s total volume, accounts because that over 50% of its neurons!

The cerebellum"s anatomical location helps united state to better understand that functions. That lies parallel come two key neural pathways: one that carries sensory message to the component of the brain that analyzes them, and also another the emerges native the cortex and descends to the muscles to do them contract. The cerebellum hence receives a copy of every the information that is sent up from the sensory organs to the sensory cortex and also all the information that is sent down native the motor cortex to the spinal cord. The cerebellum also receives information from many other locations of the cerebral cortex and also the sub-cortical regions of the brain.

For you come perform also so basic a gesture as emotional the reminder of your nose, the is not enough for your brain to simply command your hand and arm muscle to contract. To do the assorted segments of your hand and arm deploy smoothly, you need an internal "clock" that can exactly regulate the sequence and duration that the elementary motions of every of this segments. The clock is the cerebellum.

As so regularly in neurobiology, to understand precisely what the cerebellum does, we can observe patient in whom part of this structure has actually been ruined (by a tumour or a stroke, because that example). Once these patients shot to grasp an object, your hands start moving late, advancement unsteadily, and either stop prior to reaching your target, or, often, accelerate past it. In regards to posture, civilization with damaged cerebellums characteristically screen balance problems similar to those uncovered in world who room drunk. In fact, the clumsiness that accompanies excess consumption of alcohol is straight related come its depressive impacts on the activity of the cerebellum.

In a healthy and balanced person, the cerebellum an initial receives information about the intended activity from the sensory and motor cortexes. Then it sends information ago to the engine cortex around the forced direction, force, and also duration that this movement thus this loop including the cerebellum operates in enhancement to the loop involving the basal ganglia to regulate the details of engine control.

Another an allegory summarizes the function of her cerebellum fairly well: that acts favor an air website traffic controller who gathers one unbelievable amount of info at every moment, including (to go back to our original example) the place of her hand, her arm, and also your nose, the rate of their movements, and the effects of potential obstacles in their path, so that your finger can accomplish a "soft landing" top top the tip of your nose.

The production of activity is organized into various levels of control. At the greatest level, the cortex controls voluntarily movements. These are all the movements that need co-ordination and also precision to adapt to particular situations ~ above the basis of information listed by the senses. at the most straightforward level, movement is managed by the spinal cord alone, with no help from the brain. The neurons that the spinal cord for this reason take charge of reflex movements and also the rhythmic movements involved in walking. between these two levels, there space all various other kinds of movements. For instance, choose the movements affiliated in walking, the movements involved in breathing have an automatic component but can also be altered voluntarily (for example, if you want, you have the right to hold your breath, just as you can run rather of walk).


The basic function of the mind is to produce behaviours, i m sorry are, an initial and foremost, movements. Several various regions of the cerebral cortex are associated in managing the body"s movements. These areas are organized into a hierarchy like the crew of a ship. On an old galley, because that example, the captain figured out the location for a trip by assessing the various determinants that might make such a expedition worthwhile. Then his lieutenants calculation the direction that the ship had actually to travel to reach that destination, based upon weather conditions. Finally, the lieutenantstransfer your orders to the crew manning the oars, who offered their muscle to move the ship in the wanted direction.

See more: If You Have Been Drinking The Decision-Making Process And Basic Hand-Eye Coordination Are

Similarly, in the human being brain, planning for any given movement is done mainly in the forward part of the frontal lobe. This part of the cortex receives information around the individual"s current position native several other parts. Then, favor the ship"s captain, it problems its commands, come Area 6. Area 6 acts like the ship"s lieutenants. It decides which collection of muscle to contract to attain the required movement, then worries the matching orders come the "rowers"—the main motor cortex, also known as Area 4. This area in rotate activates details muscles or groups of muscle via the engine neurons in the spinal cord.

Even for a activity as straightforward as picking up a glass the water, one can scarcely imagine trying to consciously specify the sequence, force, amplitude, and speed that the contractions that every muscle concerned. And also yet, if we room healthy, us all do such motions all the time without also thinking the them. The decision to choose up a glass of water is add by raised electrical activity in the frontal region of the cortex. The neurons in the frontal cortex then send impulses under their axons come activate the engine cortex itself. Utilizing the info supplied by the intuitive cortex, the engine cortex to plan the right path because that the hand to monitor to reach the glass. The motor cortex then calls on other parts the the brain, such as the central grey nuclei and also the cerebellum, which help to initiate and co-ordinate the activation the the muscles in sequence. The axons of the neurons the the primary motor cortex descend all the method into the spinal cord, wherein they do the final relay of info to the motor neurons the the spinal cord. This neurons are connected directly come the muscles and also cause them come contract. Finally, by contracting and also by for this reason pulling top top the bones of the arm and hand, the muscles execute the activity that allows the glass come be picked up. In addition, to ensure that all of these activities are fast, precise, and co-ordinated, the nervous mechanism must constantly receive sensory details from the exterior world and also use this details to readjust and exactly the hand"s trajectory. The nervous device achieves this adjustments chiefly by way of the cerebellum, which receives information around the location in room of the joints and also the human body from the proprioceptors.