The brain is separated into four parts (lobes) that are all responsible for different jobs. The four lobes are the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, the temporal lobe, and the occipital lobe.
The frontal lobe is located in the front of the brain by the forehead. It is sometimes known as the "executive" or "control panel" of the brain because it combines lots of information from other parts of the brain and makes decisions. If the brain were a company, the frontal lobe would be the boss!
The frontal lobe is in charge of thinking, reasoning, decision-making, and planning for the future. Our personality is also housed in the frontal lobe! Humans have a very large frontal lobe, which is one of the reasons our brain is so special! Our large frontal lobes is one of the main things that makes humans different from animals.
Since the frontal lobe is so complex, it takes a long time to fully develop. In fact, the frontal lobe is actually the last part of the brain to finish developing. A person's frontal lobe isn't fully developed until they are 25-30 years old!
The parietal lobe is located at the top of the brain. Its main job is to processes information about our sense of touch. It may not seem like the parietal lobe does very much, but it actually has a huge job to do!
The body is very big and we have nerves around our whole bodies that are constantly sending signals to our brain about temperature, pain, and pressure. The parietal lobe helps the brain understand all of these signals!
The parietal lobe is also important for proprioception. That is a very fancy science word, but it basically means processing information about how our body is positioned and moving. For example, our parietal lobe helps our brain understand whether we are standing up, lying down, or hanging upside-down on the monkey bars!
The temporal lobe is located on the sides of the brain near the ears. The temporal lobe is in charge of lots of things, including hearing, language, and memory!
It makes sense that the temporal lobe helps the brain process sound because it is so close to the ears. Since the temporal lobe is in charge of our sense of hearing, it also plays an important role in music! It helps us process parts of music like rhythm and pitch.
The temporal lobe also houses two very important structures called the Wernicke's area and the Broca's area, which help us form words to communicate and listen to words to understand language.
Memory is a very complex process, so many parts of the brain work together to help us remember things. The temporal lobe is in charge of a very specific part of memory that allows us to remember words, objects, faces, and more!
The occipital lobe is located right at the back of the brain and it has a very important job. The occipital lobe houses our visual cortex, so it helps us see.
The occipital lobe receives information from millions of cells in our eyes and processes all of that information to help us understand what we are seeing.
This job is incredibly complex! The cells in our eyes collect information about light, and then our occipital lobe has to turn that information into a picture with colour, texture, size, distance and so much more. Since we have two eyes, our occipital lobe also has to combine information from both eyes so that we only see one picture. That's A LOT of work for one lobe!
Kolb, B., Whishaw, I. Q., Campbell Teskey, G. (2000). An introduction to brain and behaviour (6th ed.). Worth Publishers.
Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Brain lobes. Retrieved July 4, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/brain-lobes/img-20008887
Seladi-Schulman, J., Han, S. (2019, April 15). Brain overview. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/brain
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