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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Functions of the Many Areas of the Brain

The brain is composed of many different areas. They all have a name and they all have their specific functions they are responsible for. When any of the areas of the brain are compromised, it can cause the brain to malfunction, which in turn can cause areas of the body to malfunction, the compromise can cause unnerving symptoms, or in certain situations, even cause death. Many times you can tell which part of the brain is being compromised by realizing the symtpoms you are having. If you know what areas of the brain are responsible for which tasks, then you may be able to detect which part of the brain is being compromised.

Some of the areas of the brain and their functions are:


The brainstem has several functions. It is the base of the brain, or the lowest extension of the brain where many of the brain's functions pass. It is responsible for breathing, digestion, heart rate, your blood pressure, and your arousal, whether you are awake and alert, or asleep. The majority of the cranial nerves stem from the brainstem. The brainstem is the part of the brain where all fiber tracts pass up and down from the peripheral nerves, pass down the spinal column, and up to the highest part of the brain.


The cerebellum is located at the back of the brain and is responsible for balance and coordination. When the cerebellum is compromised, you may notice problems with ataxia, dizziness, balance and coordination problems, problems walking, talking, or eating. And even problems performing every day tasks.

Frontal Lobe:

The frontal part of the brain is responsible for planning, organizing, attention and other cognitive skills. When your frontal lobe is damaged or there is pressure being put on it, you may notice problems with your emotions or behaviors. You may have difficulty performing simple tasks, much less difficult tasks. Your frontal lobe is responsible for your higher cognitive functions.

Occipital Lobe:

The occipital lobe is the area of the brain that processes visual information. It is the area that helps to process shapes and colors. If there is any damage to this area of the brain, you will notice visual distrubances.

Parietal Lobe:

There are two parietal lobes, (left and right). They are located behind the frontal lobes. Damage to the left parietal lobe will cause problems with your ability to understand either written or spoken language. Damage to the right parietal lobe will cause problems with such things as getting around new and unfamiliar places, or even recognizing old and familiar places. The parietal lobes are also responsible for recognizing such things as touch, size, judgment, texture and weight.

Temporal Lobe:

The temporal lobes are located at each side of the brain (left and right) just about where the ears are. The temporal lobes are responsible for short term memories. The right temporal lobe is responsible primarily for visual memories. The left temporal brain is primarily responsible for verbal memories such as with names and your words.

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