GETTING INFORMATION IN AND OUT OF THE BRAIN
How does information come into the brain? A lot of information comes in through the spinal cord at the base of the brain. Think of a spinal cord as a thick phone cable with thousands of phone lines. If you cut that spinal cord, you won't be able to move or feel anything in your body. Information goes OUT from the brain to make body parts (arms and legs) do their job. There is also a great deal of INCOMING information (hot, cold, pain, joint sensation, etc.). Vision and hearing do not go through the spinal cord but go directly into the brain. That’s why people can be completely paralyzed (unable to move their arms and legs) but still see and hear with no problems.
Information enters from the spinal cord and comes up the middle of the brain. It branches out like a tree and goes to the surface of the brain. The surface of the brain is gray due to the color of the cell bodies (that's why it's called the gray matter). The wires or axons have a coating on them that's colored white (called white matter).