You’ve probably heard that your brain has a right half and a left half, called the hemisphere. Interestingly, each hemisphere of the human brain controls the opposite side from the body. Each half of the brain also has four functional areas, called lobes. There is also a unique and lesser known lobe in the brain. Let’s take a look at these five lobes and what they do.
The frontal lobe is the largest of the brain lobes and lies behind the nasal cavity. It is responsible for the control of body and eye movements, the smoothness of motor movements and motor language. the functions its impacts include memory, judgment, problem solving, sexual behavior and emotional expression. Our frontal lobes can be either dominating right or left when it comes to language and speech control, although most people store this information on the left side. Injuries or frontal lobe damage may result difficulties with attention, planning and organization as well as decreased motivation, mood swings, poor impulse control, loss of inhibition and personality changes. Seizures or epilepsy in the frontal lobe can be caused by a stroke, infection or traumatic injury – or can be inherited from a condition called autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal epilepsy. There is also a generally accepted (but poorly understood) link between frontal lobe dysfunction and schizophrenia.
Sitting behind the frontal lobe, near the top and center of the Cerebral cortexthe parietal lobe is responsible for coordination of movements, mathematical calculation, spatial orientation, tactile sensation, visual perception and speech. Cause damage to the right parietal lobe can result in the inability to take care of one side of your body, such as bathing or dressing. This state is called contralateral neglect. When the left parietal lobe is damaged, it can lead to Gerstmann syndrome – named after Austrian neurologist Josef Gerstmann, who discovered it in 1924. The disease is characterized by four distinct neurological problems: the inability to identify your own fingers or someone else’s (called finger agnosia); loss of math skills; inability to distinguish between the right and left side of the body; and the inability to write. When both parietal lobes are damaged, it can cause Balint Syndrome – which makes people unable to accurately reach the objects they are looking at; unable to move eyes to an object; and only able to see parts of a photo/image, rather than the whole image.
the the smallest of the lobes is the occipital, which is primarily responsible for vision-related function. Made up of ridges, folds, and depressions, it works in conjunction with the eye (specifically the retina) to control depth perception, object recognition, color perception, face recognition, and more. It is also depend on the frontal and temporal lobes in order to visually take in information and remember it. Occipital lobe lesions can cause visual hallucinations; inability to recognize familiar faces, words, shapes or colors; and difficulty keeping balance, standing and moving. The condition synesthesia is related to the occipital lobe. This phenomenon occurs when people experience an experience through a different sense than the one in which it occurs. For example, hearing a particular word will cause someone to see a specific color, or hearing music will cause them to see certain shapes.
amygdala, hippocampus, The Wernicke region and the olfactory cortex are all found in the temporal lobe(s) — which are connected to several functions. These include auditory and visual perception, language comprehension, speech, memory and emotional responses. Medical conditions associated with temporal lobe involvement include Wernicke’s aphasia, temporal lobe epilepsy and memory impairment. The temporal lobe is also associated with personality changes related to emotion regulation and interpersonal communication, difficulties with spatial perception, and changes in thirst and hunger. Frontotemporal lobe dementia (FTD) occurs when abnormal proteins build up in brain cells and is the most common type of dementia in people under 60. Although the onset can begin between the ages of 21 and 80, it most commonly affects people between the ages of 45 and 64.
Also known as the insular cortex and the Isle of Reil (named after the German physician Johann Cristian Reil who discovered it in 1809), the island is now recognized as a separate lobe. However, this triangular-shaped area has long been a mystery. This is largely due to its deep location in the brain, which is difficult to access and study. The insula is related to addiction and cravings. It also plays a role in PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mood and panic disorders and schizophrenia. When the insula suffers damage, the result may include sensory perception difficulty, pain perception problems, language comprehension problems, ability to speak and emotional imbalance.