Physiology students dissect sheep brains

Brian Pleitez

Crimson Chronicle Reporter

Students from the SAS physiology elective underwent their second dissection of the year, this time with a sheep brain. Earlier in the year they dealt with sheep hearts and how blood is pumped to the body. This time they analyzed what sections of the brain are responsible for each of the body’s mechanisms. 

The brain is part of the nervous system and is the most complex organ in the human body. It controls everything that we do. This ranges from processing information to allowing us to move and sense things. The brain is also very sensitive and if damaged, it can really change a person’s life in many different ways. 

Everyone in the class had to get into table groups of about six people each and one person was given the tools to start cutting while others observed. 

“It’s kind of crazy to me that we are going to cut a sheep’s brain as I have never done this, but at the same time I’m very curious,” said SAS junior Evan Vargas.

Students first needed to cut through the thin tissue that protects the brain. This film tissue is called the dura mater which helps with drainage of blood from the brain’s tissues. After that they identified the four main sections of the brain. Those are the frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes. The frontal lobe is in charge of consciousness, motor functions, and communication. The temporal lobe manages memory, and emotions while the parietal lobe is in charge of our five senses. The last part of the brain which is the occipital lobe manages visual perception. 

“As I cut through the brain I was able to see how the inside looks and the different layers of tissue that each have different shades of color,”  said SAS junior Bryan Moreno. “When you started to cut through the tissue it did start smelling a little bad.”

To pinpoint the different sections, students used colored pins and stuck them on the tissue. 

Studying the brain is important because scientists are constantly learning about new conditions, diseases, and functions that are associated with the brain. Not only do they discover, but they also find ways to prevent and treat problems that can arise.

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