Comparison of the Sheep Brain and the Human Brain

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Every living thing that exists-whether from the animal world or the human kingdom, has a central control unit known as the brain. In this regard, all living things actions are maneuvered from the brain. As such, the brain is a very complex body organ, which is responsible for the operation of the other parts of the body of an animal or human being (Marieb, & Hoehn, 2007). This control center is placed in the head of the living things. All vertebrates and invertebrates also contain brains. However, some animals such as the jellyfish and sponges do not have a brain. Notably, the human brain is the most complex of all brains and is placed in the head of individuals. However, according to Jerison (2012), the brain of a sheep is noticeably similar to that of humans albeit with distinguishable differences. For instance, unlike human brains, a sheep brain does not have the ability to decipher issues. However, its similarity to that of humans makes it most suitable for study in neuroanatomy classes. Comparatively, the size of the human brain is larger than that of a sheep. This paper endeavors to bring out the differences and similarities between human and sheep brains. Specifically, it will focus on the differences with regard to cerebrum, brain stem, and cerebellum.

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The cerebrum is the outward part of the brain that is responsible for the integration of the most complex sensory and neural functions. Additionally, according to Marieb, & Hoehn (2007), the cerebrum initiates and co-ordinates the activities of the other parts of the body. The location of the cerebrum is in the front part of a skull. In the cerebrum, the frontal, parietal, occipital, and the temporal lobes of the human brain are found. Further, it consists of the left and right hemispheres, which are separated by fissure and connected by corpus callosum.. The human cerebrum is rounded while that of a sheep is elongated. Additionally, that of a human being is bigger in size and therefore has a bigger surface area than that of a sheep. The intelligence of the two cerebrums is also a point of difference. In this regard, the cerebrum of a human being has the ability to rationally think, bend, write, invent and even create new ideas. However, that of a sheep is very dormant. It is for this reason that a sheep is referred to as an unintelligent animal (Jerison, 2012). The intelligence of both human and sheep are measured by the relative size of the frontal lobe as well as the number and size of ridges, which exist in the cortex. In humans, the frontal lobe is connected to higher cognitive functions so that humans can be able to make logical decisions and analysis.

Brain Stem

The brainstem is the brain organ that consists of the medulla oblongata, midbrain, and Pons. Out of the existing 12 cranial nerves, 10 have their origin in the brain stem. The two exceptions are the cranial nerve 1 (the olfactory nerve) and cranial nerve 2 (the optic nerve) (Vass, 2016). This, therefore, underscores the importance of the brain stem. Concerning the differences, the brainstem of a sheep is much smaller compared to that of a human being. However, according to Vass (2016), the average body weight of a sheep is 150-200 lbs, which is very similar to that of a human. Specifically, the neurological activities of a sheep are very much simpler compared to those of human beings. The function of the brainstem is to influence the basic processes of the body such as breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, as well as alertness.


A cerebellum is an organ of the brain that is located below the back of the cerebrum. Precisely, it neighbors the cerebrum. The function of the cerebellum in living things is to provide and regulate the posture, balance, movement and the co-ordination of muscles (Marieb & Hoehn, 2007). As such, without the cerebellum, there would be no coordination among the various parts of the body. The sizes of the human and sheep cerebellum are one of the differences. In this regard, the human cerebellum is much bigger than that of the sheep. Additionally, the cerebellum of a sheep is longer while that of the human is rounder. Moreover, the presence of convolutions and sulci on the human brain makes it have more surface area of the cerebellum compared to that of human beings. The huge size of the human cerebellum is to enable human respond to the complex learned behaviors. The olfactory bulb, which is responsible for the sensing of smell, is comparatively larger in sheep than in humans to enable them have more senses of smell than those of humans.



There exist a number of noticeable similarities between the human and sheep cerebrums. In this regard, the two living creatures have cerebrums, which serve the same function. Specifically, in both organisms, the cerebrum provides timing for muscle activity, initiates a variety of correlative impulses, and creates senses of balance.

Brain Stem

In both humans and sheep, the brainstem is large enough to cater for the neurological activities of the two organisms. Although the brainstem of humans is bigger than that of sheep, the neurological activities of the sheep are lesser to those of humans. Additionally, the brainstem in both sheep and humans has cranial nerves originating from it. Further, the function of the brainstem in both animals is the same.


The cerebellum in both humans and sheep is located below the cerebrum. Additionally, in both creatures, the cerebellum is one of the most protected parts of the brain. The parietal lobe in both animals takes the same amount of space in the brain as well as the movement orientation, and their ability to respond to stimuli. The insular and corpus callosum have the same functions in both humans and sheep.


All mammals have a central part, which regulates the operation of the body. This central part is known as the brain. The complex nature of the brain is related to the functions that it has in the body of a mammal. The human brain is the most complex of all brains. Notably, the brain of a sheep is very similar to that of human. However, there exist several differences. While the cerebrum of a sheep is smaller, that of humans is bigger,. With regard to the brainstem, the differences in neurological activities bring about differences in the brainstem of the two creatures. Further, the cerebellum of humans is much bigger and rounder while that of a sheep is much smaller and longer. However, the two contain cerebrums, brainstems and cerebellums that are equal to the nature and purpose of their brains.


Jerison, H. (2012). Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence. Elsevier.Marieb, E. N., & Hoehn, K. (2007). Human anatomy & physiology. Pearson Education.Vass, L. (2016). Lab 11- Gross Anatomy of the Central Nervous System. Scribd. Retrieved 27 January 2016, from

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