Standard Article

You have free access to this content


  1. Marlene Oscar-Berman,
  2. Susan M. Mosher

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0144

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Oscar-Berman, M. and Mosher, S. M. 2010. Brain. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Boston University School of Medicine, Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Boston Campus

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The human brain is a complex aggregate of billions of cells working together to process stimuli, to monitor needs, and to direct behavior. Developmentally, the brain begins at the most rostral extension of the neural tube; it bends over and convolutes as it expands within the confines of the skull (cranium). The brain's expansion is disproportionate relative to the growth of the spinal cord, the most caudal extension of the central nervous system. Figure 1 illustrates the development of the human brain, showing its major subdivisions.


  • central nervous system;
  • cerebellum;
  • cortex;
  • neuroanatomy;
  • neurons