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Anatomy and Neuroscience

This chapter describes the anatomical and neurobiological basis of the brain, the physical structure of the brain. The brain is a very complex information storage structure. Different areas take on different functions, even though the arrangement and function may vary individually. However, what is special about the human brain is not the available storage space, but the extreme interconnection between nerve cells, neurons. This interconnection occurs during learning, in human development. At the same time, the brain can permanently adapt to the respective demands, so that the structure is subject to a process of continuous adaptation called neuroplasticity.


The structure of the human brain

The extreme performance of the brain is based on the exorbitant number of connections between the billions of nerve cells. The brain is divided into certain functional centres, it is organised individually and very specifically, and constant reorganisation takes place.

Functional structures of the cerebral cortex

The four areas of the brain are a gigantic network. The brain can be considered the "computing centre": It is involved in all the processes of movement, perception and thought; it is also responsible for speech or emotions. These deeper structures, with their specific functions, are of course of great importance for learning.

Limbic system

The limbic system is not a proper structure, but a complex interconnection of several functional centres in the cerebral cortex. The limbic system controls behaviour, emotions and intellect and therefore plays a crucial role in learning processes.

Linguistic structures

Language is a complex process involving countless areas and functions of the brain. Speaking and understanding speech work simultaneously, together, and for each other in large parts of the listening and speaking process. Speech cannot function without hearing or auditory understanding.

Neurons and the nervous system

The basic building blocks of the brain are nerve cells (neurons). All nerve cells form the nervous system. The brain is made up of about 100 billion nerve cells, but more important to brain function is the network between these nerve cells.

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