In the previous sections, we have considered parts of the brain, where visual information is processed, in many different ways, to create your visual world, that you can't consciously control.
It is extremely difficult to explain the parts of our brain we can't control, because we are usually not aware of what they are doing.
As you read these words, try to think how it is that you understand them. Are you able to not understand them? Each word is processed, so as you are looking at the words, the visual information goes through your eyes to your brain, and the picture of the words is matched with the words you know (have remembered), so you are able to read this. But you don't have to stop at every word, and process each one, do you? Your brain is computing it so fast that you can read seamlessly. If, however, we introduced an unusual word, maybe antediluvian, as your brain processes it, it slows down or pauses, there is no match in your temporal lobe (apart from those who know what it means - it's a term relating to the period before Noah's flood from the Bible). This is a very simple example of the many tasks your brain undertakes, feeding your conscious brain, so that you can do things, and make sensible choices and stay safe.
Your choice to read these words, and continue to read them, right now, as you are reading them, is being processed in the conscious part of your brain, which is your frontal lobes.
But, the actual processing of the words so that you are able to understand them, you aren't aware of, it is non-conscious, unless you stop and really think about it, as we tried to get you to do with the word antediluvian.
Your brain is constantly processing information, combining:
This information, once processed is fed to the conscious part of your brain, in the frontal lobes. It is also sometimes called the 'control centre'. Imagine you are steering a great ship...
you have your steering wheel and some controls, but are supported by great engines and boilers, propellers and the craftsmanship of the vessel. Maybe the brain can be thought of as a bit like that, the above image is all you are aware of, but it is only a part of the whole vessel (below).
The brain processes, together, serve many purposes, including:
Before you move on to the next lesson, please check:
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