Anatomy and Physiology of Cerebrum

Let us have a look over the anatomy and physiology of cerebrum present in the brain. The central nervous system consists of the cerebrum which is the uppermost part of the brain. It is composed of basal ganglia, cerebral cortex, and olfactory cortex. The cerebrum consists of the cerebral hemisphere. It is divided into left and right hemispheres on either side of the central fissures and the cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. The left hemisphere is functionally dominant, controlling language and speech.

The right hemisphere interprets visual and spatial information; it consists of the inner core of myelinated nerve fibers. The cerebral hemisphere consists of white matter and an outer cortex of gray matter. The cerebrum accounts for two-thirds of the total weight of the brain. The human cortex has a surface area of approximately 2000 square centimeters and is several centimeters thick. 

Anatomy and Physiology of Cerebrum

The cerebrum is the largest and most developed portion of the human brain; it is located in the uppermost part of the brain. The cerebrum is divided into two hemispheres by a deep longitudinal fissure, and each hemisphere is further divided into four lobes, frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital. The two hemispheres communicate with each other through the corpus callosum, a large, C-shaped structure of white matter and nerve pathways in the center of the cerebrum.

The cerebrum consists of two layers, an outer layer called the cortex (gray matter) and an inner layer (white matter). The cortex is covered with ridges known as gyri and folds called sulci, and each lobe may be divided into areas that serve specific functions. For example, the precentral gyrus is the location of the primary motor cortex, and the postcentral gyrus is the location of the primary somatosensory cortex. The superior temporal gyrus is responsible for the reception and processing of sound.

The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the right side. For example, when you pick up a pencil from a table, your cerebrum sends signals to the muscles in your arms, and your cerebellum helps calculate and control your movements

Damage to the cerebrum can occur from incidents such as road trauma, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, or other neurodegenerative diseases.

Structure or Anatomy of Cerebrum

anatomy and physiology of cerebrum
Structure of Cerebrum | Source: Jahangir Moini et al., Global Emergency of Mental Disorders

Parts of Cerebrum

There are two hemispheres in the cerebrum and each hemisphere has four parts or lobes:

  • Parietal lobe: It is the middle part of the brain present at the front of the head. The parietal lobe helps a person to identify objects and understand spatial relationships like sense, touch, pain, pressure, etc.
  • Occipital lobe: It is located at the back of your head. This lobe manages much of your eye’s sensory input, including the ability to see movement and colors.
  • Temporal lobe: It sits behind the ears and is the second largest lobe. It commonly processes auditory information, connects emotions with memory, and facilitates hearing and understanding language.
  • Insular lobe: It is located deep inside your brain, underneath your frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes. This lobe handles taste senses and also helps process certain types of emotions like compassion and empathy.
  • Frontal lobe: It is the largest lobe in the human brain and is present at the front of your head. They are also the most common region of injury in the traumatic brain and handle things like attention, behavior control, the ability to speak, and certain types of muscle movements.

Functions or Physiology of Cerebrum

The cerebrum is the uppermost part of the brain. It receives information from the sense organs, interprets it, and commands the body.

The cerebrum also participates in functions such as memory, reasoning, and emotional control. The major lobes of the brain are located in the cerebrum, which is made up of two hemispheres divided by a central fissure. The cerebrum itself houses the four major lobes; each lobe in the cerebrum has numerous functions to control the body’s voluntary function and action.

  • Sensory processing
  • Emotional control
  • Motor control
  • Personality
  • Learning
  • Imagination
  • Creativity
  • Spital information etc

The visual area and auditory area of the cerebral cortex are the centers of vision and hearing. Association between various sensations and movements controlled in the frontal lobe.


Important to remember about anatomy and physiology of cerebrum is that the cerebral cortex covers the outer surface of the cerebrum, which is the brain’s largest part, spanning five paired lobes: frontal, parietal, occipital, insular, and temporal lobes.

In the term cerebrum vs cerebral cortex, the latter part of the former does not have the same structure. It contains fluid-filled cavities called ventricles. The cerebrum makes up about 80% of the overall brain volume.


Here are some FAQs related to the anatomy and physiology of cerebrum, that are mostly asked by students.

01. What are the common diseases and disorders affecting the cerebrum?

The condition that affects the brain generally affects the cerebrum, including mental health conditions. Few examples are: Alzheimer’s disease, Anxiety disorders, Stroke, Congenital disorders, Depression, Dizziness, Epilepsy, and Dementia.

02. What are the symptoms of cerebrum stroke?

A stroke in the cerebrum can cause several symptoms like

  • Visual problems, such as blurred or blackened vision, or double vision
  • Difficulty reading, writing, and learning new information
  • Impaired ability to reason, organize, and analyze items
  • Behavioral changes, like depression and cautiousness
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion
  • Trouble speaking
  • Difficulty understanding speech
  • Headache
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination

03. What is cerebrum compositum remedy?

The results of the conducted trial prove cerebrum compositum remedy to have a harmonious influence on bioelectrical activity of the brain and cerebral hemodynamics as well as it improves psychological state, alleviating anxiety, and enhances initiative and physical activity of the treated patients.

04. What is the main purpose of the cerebrum?

The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. The cerebral hemispheres are the two hemispheres, or halves, into which it is divided. Parts of the brain regulate speech, thought, emotions, writing, reading, and learning in addition to motor functions.

05. What is the difference between cerebrum and cerebellum?

In the cerebrum versus cerebellum, the cerebrum is a subcategory of the brain telencephalon that is part of the forebrain. The cerebellum is a subcategory of the rhombencephalon or hindbrain. These are the forms of the fetal brain that eventually give rise to several complex structures. Cerebrum functions have been discussed in basic detail above.

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