Psychology -> Cerebral hemispheres: the functions of the four lobes
The functions of the four lobes
Frontal Lobe Damage
• the functions of the four lobes of the cerebral cortex control motor, somatosensory, visual and
auditory processing in humans
• frontal lobe (including Broca's area)
The principle function of the frontal lobe is the control of movement. The primary motor cortex, an important arch of tissue, is located at the back of the frontal lobe and runs laterally over the top of the brain. This area directs the body's muscles.
The frontal lobe is also related to more complex behaviours. Its functions seem to be related to planning, changing strategies, self awareness, attention to emotionally related stimuli and spontaneity of behaviour.
Patients with frontal lobe damage demonstrate:
• slowing of thoughts and behaviour
• getting 'stuck' on tasks and repeating the same wrong answers over and over, i.e. they have difficulty changing strategies
• loss of self-awareness
• changes in emotional reactions. They react with indifference to events that normally elicit an emotional response
• deficiencies in planning
• loss of spontaneity
Broca's area is located just below and ahead of the primary motor cortex. It is essential for the production of speech. It is a language area related to grammar and pronunciation. Damage to this region results in a form of aphasia (impaired language ability), characterised by slow, laboured, difficult speech that lacks grammatical structure. The person is able to read and understand other people's speech but have great difficulty speaking or writing themselves.
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