Briefly describe the structure of the following:


Briefly describe the structure of the following:

  1. (a) Brain

  2. (b) Eye

  3. (c) Ear


(A) Brain: Brain is the main coordinating centre of the body. It is a part of nervous system that controls and monitors every organ of the body. It is well protected by cranial meninges that are made up of an outer layer called dura mater, a thin middle layer called arachnoid, and an inner layer called pia mater.

It is divided into three regions − forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain.

Forebrain: It is the main thinking part of the brain. It consists of cerebrum, thalamus, and hypothalamus.

(a) Cerebrum:

Cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and constitutes about four-fifth of its weight. Cerebrum is divided into two cerebral hemispheres by a deep longitudinal cerebral fissure. These hemispheres are joined by a tract of nerve fibre known as corpus callosum. The cerebral hemispheres are covered by a layer of cells known as cerebral cortex or grey matter. Cerebrum has sensory regions known as association areas that receive sensory impulses from various receptors as well as from motor regions that control the movement of various muscles. The innermost part of cerebrum gives an opaque white appearance to the layer and is known as the white matter.

(b) Thalamus:

Thalamus is the main centre of coordination for sensory and motor signalling. It is wrapped by cerebrum.

(c) Hypothalamus:

It lies at the base of thalamus and contains a number of centres that regulate body temperature and the urge for eating and drinking. Some regions of cerebrum, along with hypothalamus, are involved in the regulation of sexual behaviour and expression of emotional reactions such as excitement, pleasure, fear, etc.


It is located between the thalamus region of the forebrain and pons region of hindbrain. The dorsal surface of midbrain consists of superior and inferior corpora bigemina and four round lobes called corpora quadrigemina. A canal known as cerebral aqueduct passes through the midbrain. Midbrain is concerned with the sense of sight and hearing.


It consists of three regions − pons, cerebellum, and medulla oblongata.

(a) Pons is a band of nerve fibre that lies between medulla oblongata and midbrain. It connects the lateral parts of cerebellar hemisphere together.

(b) Cerebellum is a large and well developed part of hindbrain. It is located below the posterior sides of cerebral hemispheres and above medulla oblongata. It is responsible for maintaining posture and equilibrium of the body.

(c) Medulla oblongata is the posterior and simplest part of the brain. It is located beneath the cerebellum. Its lower end extends in the form of spinal cord and leaves the skull through foramen magnum.

(B) Eye: Eyes are spherical structures that consist of three layers.

(a) The outer layer is composed of sclera and cornea.

(i) Sclera is an opaque tissue that is usually known as white of the eye. It is composed of a dense connective tissue.

(ii) Cornea is a transparent anterior portion of eye that lacks blood vessels and is nourished by lymph from the nearby area. It is slightly bulged forward and helps in focusing light rays with the help of lens.

(b) The middle layer of eye is vascular in nature and contains choroid, ciliary body, and iris.

(i) Choroid lies next to the sclera and contains numerous blood vessels that provide nutrients and oxygen to the retina and other tissues.

(ii) Ciliary body: The choroid layer is thin over posterior region and gets thickened in the anterior portion to form ciliary body. It contains blood vessels, ciliary muscles, and ciliary processes.

(iii) Iris: At the junction of sclera and cornea, the ciliary body continues forward to form thin coloured partition called iris. It is the visible coloured portion of eye.

The eye contains a transparent, biconvex, and elastic structure just behind the iris. It is known as lens. The lens is held in position by suspensory ligaments attached to the ciliary body. The lens divides the eye ball into two chambers – an anterior aqueous and posterior vitreous chamber.

(c) The innermost nervous coat of eye contains retina. Retina is the innermost layer. It contains three layers of cells – inner ganglion cells, middle bipolar cells, and outermost photoreceptor cells. The receptor cells present in the retina are of two types – rod cells and cone cells.

(a) Rod cells –The rods contain the rhodopsin pigment (visual purple) that is highly sensitive to dim light. It is responsible for twilight vision.

(b) Cone cells –The cones contain the iodopsin pigment (visual violet) and are highly sensitive to high intensity light. They are responsible for daylight and colour visions.

The innermost ganglionic cells give rise to optic nerve fibre that forms optic nerve in each eye and is connected with the brain.

(C) Ear: Ear is the sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. It consists of three portions – external ear, middle ear, and internal ear.

1. External ear:

It consists of pinna, external auditory meatus, and a tympanic membrane.

(a) Pinna is a sensitive structure that collects and directs the vibrations into the ear to produce sound.

(b) External auditory meatus is a tubular passage supported by cartilage in external ear.

(c) Tympanic membrane is a thin membrane that lies close to the auditory canal. It separates the middle ear from external ear.

2. Middle ear:

It is an air-filled tympanic cavity that is connected with pharynx through eustachian tube. Eustachian tube helps to equalize air pressure in both sides of tympanic membrane. The middle ear contains a flexible chain of three middle bones called ear ossicles. The three ear ossicles are malleus, incus, and stapes that are attached to each other.

3. Internal ear:

It is also known as labyrinth. Labyrinth is divided into bony labyrinth and a membranous labyrinth. Bony labyrinth is filled with perilymph while membranous labyrinth is filled with endolymph. Membranous labyrinth is divided into 2 parts.

(a) Vestibular apparatus

Vestibular apparatus is a central sac-like part that is divided into utriculus and sacculus. A special group of sensory cells called macula are present in sacculus and utriculus.

Vestibular apparatus also contains three semi-circular canals. The lower end of each semi-circular canal contains a projecting ridge called crista ampularis. Each ampulla has a group of sensory cells called crista. Crista and macula are responsible for maintaining the balance of body and posture.

(b) Cochlea:

Cochlea is a long and coiled outgrowth of sacculus. It is the main hearing organ. Cochlea consists of three membranes. The organ of corti, a hearing organ, is located on the basilar membrane that has hair cells.

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