What Does the Brain Do?

The brain is the control centre for all the body’s functions, such as walking, talking, swallowing, breathing, taste, smell, heart rate and so on. It also controls all our thinking functions, our emotions, how we behave and all our intellectual (cognitive) activities, such as how we attend to things, how we perceive and understand our world and its physical surroundings, how we learn and remember and so on.

Damage to a particular part of the brain can produce impairment in the function that it controls. If the damage is limited to a small area, then it is likely that only a few functions will be impaired. If, however, as is more common, there is widespread damage, then this can produce a complex array of physical and psychological problems. The level of impairment will depend on the type, location and severity of the injury.