The top row of keys on your Apple keyboard features items like brightness, Mission Control, Dashboard, and volume controls. These can also be shortcuts to the appropriate System Preference controls with the addition of the Option key. For instance, hold down Option plus one of the volume buttons and you will get the Sound controls. Hold down option plus one of the brightness keys and you get the Display controls. Note that if you have turned on the F-keys in your keyboard preferences then you will need to hold down the FN key as well.
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