Traumatic Brain Injury A to Z - Lobe Functions

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Lobe Functions

The frontal lobes are the largest of the four lobes and deal with reasoning, planning, self-control, some speech and emotion functions, and problem solving. The frontal lobes also play an important part in memory, intelligence, concentration, and are responsible for executive functions.

There are many executive functions of the brain such as the ability to plan, set goals, and organize. These functions include being able to determine right from wrong and being able to monitor and change behavior as needed. Executive functions also allow people to adapt to new situations and to override or control reactions when appropriate. The abilities to form concepts, socialize, and think abstractly are often considered part of executive function.

The parietal lobes are involved with movement, and also help people to understand signals received from other areas of the brain such as vision, hearing, sensory and memory. A person’s memory and the sensory information received give meaning to objects and “pull it all together.”

The occipital lobes are found at the back of the brain. These lobes receive signals from the eyes, process those signals, allow people to understand what they are seeing, and influence how people process colors and shapes.

Temporal lobes are located at about ear level, and are the main memory center of the brain, contributing to both long-term and short-term memories. The temporal lobe is also involved with understanding what is heard, and with the ability to speak. An area on the right side is involved in visual memory and helps people recognize objects and faces. An area on the left side is involved in verbal memory and helps people remember and understand language. The back area of the temporal lobes helps people interpret the emotions and reactions of others.

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