The human brain weighs about 3 pounds and is made up of four major sections, 1) the cerebrum, which houses the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe 2) The cerebellum 3) the limbic system and 4) the brain stem, which houses the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata, and leads into the spinal cord and vertebrae sections.
Brain Lobe Functions
What Does The Frontal Lobe Control?
- Problem Solving
Located at the front of each cerebral hemisphere, the frontal lobe is responsible for conscious thought, voluntary movement, and individual personality characteristics. When you are searching for just the right word to say, it is this section of the brain upon which you rely.
Frontal Lobe Injuries
When traumatic brain injury occurs to the frontal area, it is impacting the brain’s largest lobe. Located at the front of each cerebral hemisphere, this lobe is responsible for conscious thought, voluntary movement, and individual personality characteristics. When you are searching for just the right word to say, it is this section of the brain upon which you rely.
Damage to this vital lobe can cause impairments in judgment, attention span and organizational ability, as well as a loss of motivation. In addition, the frontal lobes are charged with the task of regulating mood and emotions. Consequently, when they are compromised, a patient may become impulsive, act rashly, and adopt risky behaviors such as substance abuse.
What Does the Temporal Lobe Control?
Temporal Lobe Injuries
Located on the bottom and at the side of each of the two brain hemispheres, the temporal lobes are responsible for the primary organization of sensory input. When damage occurs to these areas of the brain, patients may experience disturbance of auditory sensation and perception, an inability to pay attention to what they see or hear, impaired ability to comprehend language, impaired factual and long term memory, emotional disturbance, and altered sexual behaviors. They may also have seizures, lose their sense of humor, and become obsessive.
What does the Parietal Lobe Control?
- Body awareness
Parietal Lobe Injuries
The parietal lobe is one of the four lobes that make up the cerebellum, or control center, of the brain. Located at the back of the head directly under the skull bone, it assists in the processing of visual images and other sensory input. When you touch a hot stove, it is this part of the brain that perceives the danger and sends an urgent message to your muscles to move your hand.
What does the Occipital Lobe Control?
Occipital Lobe Injuries
When you look at a clear sky and are able to discern its blue color, you are using the occipital lobe. Located at the back of the brain, the occipital lobes are responsible for visual perception. Damage to them results in loss of visual capability, an inability to identify colors, and hallucinations. At times, patients experience severe vision loss or total blindness.
What does the Cerebellum Control?
- Coordination of movement
Located at the base of the back of the skull, the cerebellum controls voluntary movement, balance, equilibrium, and muscle tone.
- Asynergia: Loss of coordination of motor movement
- dysmetria: The inability to judge distance and when to stop
- Adiadochokinesia: The inability to perform rapid alternating movements
- Intention tremor: Movement tremors
- Ataxic gait: Staggering, wide based walking
- Hypotonia: Weak muscles
- Ataxic dysarthria: Slurred speech
- Nystagmus: Abnormal eye movements
What Does the Motor Cortex Control?
- Control of voluntary muscles and body movements like walking and gripping.
Motor Cortex Injuries
Motor Cortex injuries can lead to paralysis, problems walking, writing and performing voluntary functions
What Does the Broca’s Area Control?
- Speech control
Broca’s Area Injuries
Injuries to the Broca’s Area effect speech and interpreting all aspects of language such as speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension. Patients may experience slurred speech, and difficulties forming complex sentences.
What Does the Brain Stem Control?
- Heart rate
- Sleep patterns
Brain Stem Injuries
The brain stem is often referred to as the “motherboard” of the human body as it controls all of the body’s main central functions, and leads to the spinal cord. Injuries to the brain stem affect consciousness and involuntary movements, can lead to comas and death, and requires rehabilitation if the patient is able to wake up.
What Does the Occipital Lobe Control?
- Discerning colors
Occipital Lobe Injuries
Injuries to the Occipital Lobe can cause hallucinations or visual illusions such as objects appearing closer than they are, objects appearing the have the wrong colors, and loss of vision in the left and right fields.
What Does the Wernicke’s Area?
- Language comprehension
- Wernicke’s Aphasia
Wernicke’s Area Injuries
The patient speaks in gibberish, but isn’t aware that he or she is doing so. The patient may also have trouble reading and writing.