Basic Neuroscience Series – Brain Lobes

Articles Basic Neuroscience Series

Neuroscientists have traditionally divided the human brain into 4 lobes; these are the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. There are not clear internal boundaries between the lobes, but they are separated from one another externally, demarcated by deep grooves called fissures or sulci

The different lobes are highlighted in different colors. Separating them are deep grooves called sulci, or fissures (marked by the arrows).

As its name suggests, the frontal lobe is located at the front of the brain and is found under the frontal bone. It is the largest of the four lobes and it is responsible for numerous functions, including:

  • Involuntary movement
  • Speech 
  • Behaviour patterns
  • Social interaction
  • Problem solving

An important structure that is found within the frontal lobe is the prefrontal cortex. It is essential in impulse control, concentration, personality formation and managing emotional reactions. 

Frontal Lobe

The right and left parietal lobes (they are a paired structure, found on both sides of the brain) are located in the upper-back of the brain, above the temporal lobes. The parietal lobes extend from the frontal lobe to the occipital lobe.

The parietal lobes consist of areas that control sensation and spatial information, meaning that the parietal lobes help us receive information from our environment and analyse where we are positioned in that space. 

Parietal Lobe

The temporal lobes are another paired structure that is found deep to the temporal bone, sitting below and superficial to the parietal lobes. The right and left temporal lobes are associated with hearing and auditory processing as well as the formation of long-term memories.

Temporal Lobe

The occipital lobe, located at the back of the brain, helps us receive and process information. The visual cortex, which is responsible for vision and visual information, is located within the occipital lobe.

Occipital Lobe

Figures from: Teachmeseries

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