Can people control another person's brain?

Psychiatry, Psychosomatics & Psychotherapy

Humans come into contact with their environment via the nervous system. For example, eyes, ears, nose, tongue and sensors in the skin, such as temperature and touch sensors, perceive stimuli from the environment and pass them on to the central nervous system. Information about the state of one's own organism, such as the position of the body or hunger and thirst, is also recorded. This part of the nervous system is known as the sensory nervous system. In contrast, there is the motor nervous system. With it, the organism reacts to signals from its environment or from the body itself. The motor nervous system controls the muscles and enables us to carry out actions and move around in the environment. An example: if we are moving towards an obstacle, it will be perceived by the eye. The sensory nervous system passes this information on to the brain. This is where the information is processed and the decision is made to avoid the obstacle. The commands for this are passed on from the brain via the motor nervous system to the muscles of the legs and other muscle groups involved.

Autonomic Nervous System

We are conscious of a lot of what our nervous system does. We decide whether to watch or look away, leave or stand, speak or listen. The part of our nervous system involved in this is subject to our arbitrary control. In addition, the nervous system also has tasks that we cannot consciously control. Everyone knows the situation: During exercise or in stressful situations, the heartbeat automatically increases, breathing becomes faster and you start to sweat. Responsible for this is the autonomic nervous system, which is also known as the autonomous or involuntary nervous system because it is not subject to our will. The vegetative nervous system controls the muscles of all organs, so it regulates vital body functions such as heart activity, breathing, circulation, metabolism, digestion, excretion, perspiration, body temperature and reproduction. Outside of the brain and spinal cord, it consists of the sympathetic nervous system and its counterpart, the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system increases the heartbeat and respiratory activity, improves blood circulation in the muscles and promotes sweating. By contrast, the parasympathetic nervous system makes the heart beat slower, breathing becomes calmer and digestion is promoted. While the sympathetic nervous system dominates in stressful situations, the parasympathetic nervous system gains the upper hand in relaxation phases.


The brain is the information center of our body. This is where information from the environment and the state of the organism is collected and processed into reactions. The most highly developed section of the brain is the cerebrum with the cerebral cortex. This is where the processing centers for signals come from the eyes (visual cortex), the ears (hearing center) and other sensory organs. Through the visual cortex, for example, we recognize an object as a car, i.e. only through it does what we see acquire meaning. Information from the body surface is also processed in the cerebral cortex. The area of ​​the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for a certain region of the body surface, is larger, the more important it is for the perception of the environment. The “field of perception” for information coming from the hands is significantly larger than that for the feet. The recognition of places and people also takes place in the cerebral cortex. Other areas of the cerebral cortex are responsible for language, arithmetic, and sensations. The motor area of ​​the cerebral cortex controls and coordinates muscle movements. The various regions of the cerebral cortex are connected to one another via nerve fibers and are constantly exchanging information.

Other areas of the brain

The other sections of the brain are the diencephalon, midbrain, cerebellum, and posterior brain. In the diencephalon, for example, vegetative functions such as body temperature, feelings of hunger and thirst and sexual behavior are controlled. This is also where the pituitary gland is located. This important endocrine gland, also known as the pituitary gland, produces active substances (hormones) that are released into the bloodstream and then reach their sites of action via the bloodstream. The hormones of the pituitary gland, for example, control the growth in length before puberty, promote the growth of the internal organs and have an influence on the metabolism. In addition, they promote the maturation of the egg cells in the ovaries of women and the development of sperm in men. The midbrain is the smallest section of the brain. Among other things, it controls the wake-sleep rhythm and can draw attention to certain sensory impressions. The cerebellum is responsible for the correct sequence of all body movements. In addition, it plays a key role in maintaining balance. If the cerebellum fails, there are therefore staggering, unsure of aim or shaky movements, such as those that occur when you are drunk. Even movements in rapid succession can no longer be carried out. With the posterior brain, the brain borders on the spinal cord. This is where breathing, circulation and many processes in the organs are controlled. The afterbrain is also responsible for the blink reflex, the flow of tears, the swallow reflex, the saliva production as well as for sneezing, coughing and vomiting. There are also reflexes in which only the spinal cord is involved. For example, the stretch reflex ensures that we do not fall if we stumble, but can catch ourselves without thinking too much.