Cognitive Functions of the Brain


The brain covers the largest percentage of the central nervous system. The spinal cord together with the brain makes up the CNS. CNS plays the role of enhancing the success of the body’s activities. The brain is one of the multifaceted organs in humans; it is responsible for the control of emotions and thoughts. It is composed of neurons that slightly resemble other cells. The neurons carry out unique and specific roles in a human being’s body.

Cognitive functions of the brain

Cognitive functions, juggling memories, mental pictures, and appropriate actions have a close association with consciousness. All facets of cognition portray their actions in the brain. The brain also controls all major cognitive roles in a human being. In addition to the brain taking part in making amicable decisions, it may contain democratic facets in close connection with an individual’s cells that run coordinating activities (Code, 1996). Thus, it is evident that the brain carries crucial cognitive responsibilities.

The life of Phineas Gage

Many kinds of research that have been carried out show that thinking is a process, it involves the utilization of available data in making decisions. The thinking process takes place at the frontal lobes of an individual’s brain; thus, the luck of the frontal lobes exposes an individual to diverse challenges. For instance, without the frontal lobes, the success of an individual becomes the responsibility of the environment in which that individual resides (Fleischman, 2004). The environment contributes to an individual’s act of making decisions without reflecting or making appropriate plans. Lack of reflections and plans makes a human being not to be easily differentiated from other species. Damage of the frontal lobe exposes an individual to difficulties in solving problems. It is also evident that the damaged frontal lobe can take an unusually long time to be amended to serve its appropriate roles. Phineas Gage is one of the individuals known to have undergone this problem. While excavating a rock, an iron rod that was approximately four inches punctured Gage’s left cheek and penetrated to the top of his cranium leading to damage of his brain (Code, 1996). However, Gage survived after undergoing an unusually long period of medication.

According to the doctors, the behavior of Gage had started changing immediately after the accident he had faced. The accident had led to damage of his brain structures hence, affecting his reasoning potentials. It was also evident from the acts of Gage that the frontal lobe contributes immensely towards the development of an individual’s personality. After the accident, Gage had developed a wound on the frontal lobe that resulted in his personality change.

The frontal cortices on the right side of Gage’s cranium were damaged too, this contributed significantly to his change of decision making and carrying out of emotional activities. Gage’s accident enables doctors to relate diverse parts of the brain with cognitive functions.

In addition to the cognitive role of the brain aiding in differentiating humans from other organisms, it also takes part in controlling body activities, thoughts and locomotion. All these functions are carried out in the cerebrum made up of diverse parts such as the frontal region and occipital region, temporal region, and parietal region.

Additionally, there are other cognitive functions that include sensitivity, working out problems, movements, and education. Some of the cognitive roles require the transmission of information from one part of the brain to another. For example, education and speaking recommend for brain coordination. The cells of the cerebrum significantly carry the role of enhancing an individual’s learning process. Thus, it is through the cells of the cerebrum that an individual acquires new skills. For activities in the cerebrum to be successful, neurotransmitters opt to convey signals from one region of the brain to another. Damage of cerebrum cells exposes an individual to learning difficulties; this is portrayed in Gage’s case.

The cerebrum is also responsible for memory processing; it has cells that carry out this role. It is evident that cells wear out with age, a reason why aged people suffer from memory loss. These cells are also entitled to damage in case of accidents. Hence, individuals involved in accidents may experience memory lapses. Hippocampus is the part of the cerebrum that carries out memory processing activity. It aids significantly in transferring information from temporary memory to permanent memory (Fleischman, 2004). Cases of accidents may also lead to damage of this area thus leading to a memory lapse.

Cognitive function also controls movements mostly in the motor region that is situated at the back of the frontal lobe. Motor area permits flexible and liberated movements from one region to another. In case of an accident, the motor area may also be damaged leading to difficulties in coordination of information. This may eventually lead to movement problems.


It is evident that the brain carries out cognitive functions. The brain controls learning processes, speaking, body coordination and movements. Apart from the age factor being responsible for some cognitive function’s loss, accidents may also contribute to cognitive functions failures. It is evidenced in Gage’s case that accidents may lead to loss of personality, perceptions and movement abilities. Thus, the brain is the control unit of a human being, it contributes significantly in enabling an individual to perceive things right. Its activities differentiate a human being from other species.


Code, C. (1996). Classic cases in neuropsychology. New York: PublisherPsychology Press.

Fleischman, J. (2004). Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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Premium Papers. 2022. "Cognitive Functions of the Brain." February 6, 2022.

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