Performance 8 min read

What Is The Function Of Your Forebrain?

by Ritch Flynn December 21, 2018

The brain is the supercomputer of your body. And within the brain, your forebrain acts as the most powerful data processor of all. As one of the three major developmental divisions of the brain, what your forebrain does is control your body temperature, reproductive function, hunger, sleep, and emotions.

Most interesting though is that it’s not just one single part of your brain that performs each task. Instead, each part works in combination with the others.

Your brain acts more like an orchestra, playing different notes at just at the right time for a powerful overall effect. This is how the symphony of your perception plays out.

And of all the parts of your brain, your forebrain is not only the largest, but also the most complex. It performs the higher level abilities to allow you perform at work. It gives you the ability to find your inner creative genius. And it helps us make sense of our world.

Where Is The Forebrain?

Since you were a child, your brain grew from spinal cord to hindbrain, followed by the midbrain and forebrain.

This is also the order in which our species evolved. From most primitive to most advanced, our brain grew upwards, leaving your forebrain at the top of this evolutionary history, and on top of the brain structure itself.

The core of the forebrain is the cerebrum and cerebral cortex. As the largest part of the brain, their complex grey matter structure makes up 85% of your brain’s total weight. And at 86 billion neurons, this supercomputer has been called the “seat of consciousness.”

What Is The Role Of The Forebrain?

Your brain is quick to respond to changes in its environment. Each moment it’s receiving and processing data from the senses, through the spine and hindbrain.

With your lower brain centers acting as filters, your forebrain only receives the most complex problems to solve.

And armed with this perspective, the mind grows.

Feedback is the breakfast of superheroes.

—Jim Kwik, the Author of Mindavalley’s Superbrain Program

Because only with this feedback can we truly make sense of our world. This is where your memory and perception come together with data from your senses. Each moment we’re comparing what we know with that is happening. And in those moments, your brain is updating your map of reality.


Next, let’s compare the functions of the hindbrain, midbrain and forebrain, starting from most primitive to most advanced.

forebrain function

What Are The Main Functions Of The Forebrain, Midbrain, And Hindbrain?

Hindbrain: getting its name for the Latin word for ‘bridge’, your hindbrain connects the spine to the higher brain.

The hindbrain is a coordination hub sending and receiving signals between the spine and brain. It handles basic functions like facial movement, processing sound, maintaining balance, speech, and chewing.

Also located here is the medulla oblongata, which is the control center for the heart and lungs. It’s responsible for functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, swallowing, and sneezing.

Midbrain: also known as mesencephalon, your midbrain connects to both the forebrain and hindbrain.

Together with the hindbrain, it forms the brainstem. This is the part of your brain which connects to the spinal chord directly, acting as your physical connection between the brain and the rest of your body.

It controls movement and also processes vision and speech. Eye movement is handled here too. It also plays a role in motor and sensory functions like our body sensations and reflexes.

Forebrain: Sitting on top of the rest of the brain, your forebrain is the largest part of your brain.

It takes up 2/3 of your brain and roughly weighs 1 pound. It’s the most advanced part of your brain, handling executive and higher functions, such as thinking, perceiving, and language. It also helps control motor functions and relay sensory data.

What are some of your favorite ways to grow your brain? Share with us in the comments below!

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by Ritch Flynn
Conscious writer, spiritual metalhead, man-splainer. When I’m not mancrushing on Ron Swanson, I write on Medium and Mindvalley. Mostly get my boots on for epic adventures, deep connections & bad jokes.

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