MidBrain Activity and its Effects on Memory

 

Claire Holt

The central nervous system in our bodies is crucial to the way we function as individuals and is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. The fore, mid and hind brain areas serve different and unique purposes, with the MidBrain being responsible for eye and body movement as well as auditory senses and vision. Research shows that this part of the brain is linked to our memory. The development of neurological science and behavioral understanding has accelerated over the past twenty years, and the 1990s was known as the Decade of the Brain, by Congress. With this information to hand, it is vital that we use it to empower the mental development of youngsters today to encourage them to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Functions of the MidBrain

Within the MidBrain, there are layers resembling the cerebral cortex, with the superior colliculi performing different functions to the inferior colliculus. Neurons within the inferior colliculus are organized into patterns that deal with auditory frequencies, making this part of the brain able to analyze various auditory stimuli. The inferior colliculus is adept at localizing sources of sounds.

Functions controlled by the MidBrain include how to use the vocal cords and how to articulate as well as palate, tongue and lip control. The MidBrain is also responsible for the way in which we laugh and cry through its control over the laryngeal and oral tissues in our faces. Dopamine is found in the MidBrain along with neurotransmitters and this dopamine is vital for cognition and motor function. The MidBrain is the reward center for behavior and is an area that has been studied in depth by scientists for this reason. Rewards can become distorted when they are associated with addiction because the person will focus on that one reward. Scientists are interested in the way in which the MidBrain works in this instance, as a machine that is working appropriately but the normal contexts may have been disrupted. Addicts, striving for a dopamine reward in the brain, are given support from treatment facilities, such as those in West Virginia for eating disorders. Scientists explain that the complexity of the brain is what makes it so efficient, and that we often are not aware of what is going on in our minds.

Memory, through auditory perception, is an important part of the MidBrain and the lobes within each cerebral hemisphere store information in short and long term memories. The temporal lobes receive information from the ears and underneath them is an area for forming memories and retrieving them, particularly those associated with auditory learning. The two frontal lobes of the brain are kept busy when we plan schedules or work out reasoned arguments, through their ability to store thoughts for a short time while we rationalize what we want to say. The grey matter in the cerebral cortex consists of many folds; the more folds the more information that can be stored and processed by the brain.

Activating the MidBrain

Often referred to as the blindfold activation, this theory is gaining momentum worldwide, particularly in Asia. Children’s MidBrain activity becomes much stronger when their eyes are closed or they are blindfolded. It works through children using their auditory senses to decipher information and resulting in the child seeing the information and storing it in their memory, without the use of sight. MidBrain activity can radiate like a radar, using memory of objects. It can increase concentration to impressive levels and also build a person’s confidence levels, as well as their creativity, intuition and overall intelligence. This type of activity is not limited to a blindfold approach, it simply works by developing the memory through auditory learning and it has become established as an effective approach in recent years, leading to children being encouraged in ways that were previously unimagined.

Professor Walter Rudolf Hess bridged the gap between physiology and psychiatry through his studies of the central nervous system and behavior. With this understanding of the inner workings of the brain and the connections made between auditory senses and memory retention in the MidBrain, important research on the brain and how it functions continues to this day.