• Question: why does the brain have different parts that do different jobs why cant there only be one part that does every thing?????? :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

    Asked by dillonlancaster to Cesar, Emily, Jamie, Kate, Philippa on 21 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Emily Robinson

      Emily Robinson answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      What a brilliant question! The way I think about it is that our brains are actually doing so much at any one time that we wouldn’t be able to multi-task if we had to wait for one part of our brain to do everything! It is like a production line… if you can do just a little part of the whole process really well and then past it on to the next person the whole thing gets quicker and more accurate! Also it allows your brain to have loads of things going on at once. Like at the moment I am using the front part of my brain to think of the answer to your question, the motor area to type the answer and also the visual and language areas to read what I am writing. If only one part of the brain did all those things then it might take all day for you to get your answer!!haha

      Also to complicate the situation your brain is doing much more than you think… it is also controlling things that you don’t realise like your breathing or your body temperature. And many parts of your brain are active when their is nothing happening as they are being suppressed!

      Do you think this is a good system to make your brain work more efficiently? Do you think there would be any advantage in your brain doing everything everywhere?

    • Photo: Philippa Demonte

      Philippa Demonte answered on 18 Jun 2011:

      @dillonlancaster Think of this as a simple comparison for the brain. If you had a company of people and you only gave 1 person all the tasks, that person would get tired out pretty quickly and soon wouldn’t be able to cope. If you shared the same number of tasks between everyone though and everyone worked together, the jobs would be completed in no time at all. Likewise, it is more efficient for different parts of the brain to do different jobs.

      In the case of someone who has brain damage, other parts of the brain may be able to over-compensate for the parts which do not function. Did you ever see the Channel 4 documentary featuring paralympic swimmer Liz Johnson? The muscles in her right arm and leg are stiff due to cerebral palsy, a condition caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain at birth. In Liz’s case the damage was to the left side of her brain. She is nevertheless a gold medalist in breast stroke, a symmetrical style of swimming. How? Because her right side of the brain overcompensates for the left side, causing her right arm and leg to mimic the movement of her left arm and leg when she is in the water. That’s very clever of Liz’s brain!

    • Photo: Kate Clancy

      Kate Clancy answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      I really like the way Emily and Philippa answered this question!