Brain scanning technology has enabled modern scientists to obtain a greatly improved understanding of perhaps the most complex and fascinating human organ. It has helped to more effectively treat brain disorders as well as to shed some light on the functions of the brain’s cerebellum and its role in smoothly facilitating basic everyday human activities.
Brain scans that record brain activity during the performance of certain tasks can assist scientists in pinpointing which regions are responsible for given tasks, as well as the interrelationships of certain brain regions in performing a given task.
The perception of music, for example, is controlled by several discrete and seemingly disjoint regions of the brain, but scanning technology allows scientists to perceive connections between those regions where none would have been fathomable using the naked eye alone.
Because of scanning technology, people with brain disorders may be given more specific remedies based on their particular afflictions (for example, if a person is epileptic and experiences seizures, there is no longer the need to make a giant and debilitating cut through the entire brain; it is necessary only to treat malfunctions in those regions directly responsible for epileptic fits). Also, it may become possible to extract brain tumors in such a manner as to minimally invade the regions of the brain responsible for certain crucial functions.
With the help of brain scanning technology, modern science has obtained increased insight into the functions of a vital part of the brain, the cerebellum. The cerebellum controls activities such as walking, the mechanical motions of writing, running, grasping onto objects, operating a keyboard, driving (for those with extensive experience), eating, and drinking. Humans do not have to think about performing the physical movements associated with these activities, even when those movements are quite complex. Most people with computer experience can type without looking at the keyboard and hit the right letter every time; this is because the cerebellum has automated the typing function. If one had to think about every movement one’s fingers made on the keys, typing would be an impossibly long and arduous process!
These activities are performed automatically so as to free room in the conscious mind for tasks of even greater complexity and variety, which constantly challenge human beings. If routine tasks required constant conscious exertion, then new learning as well as addressing diverse challenges such as problem solving, inventing, or writing would be impossible.