First things first…Important to remember…
- A person with a brain injury is a person first
- No two brain injuries are exactly the same
- The effects of any brain injury are complex and vary greatly with each person
- The effects of any brain injury depend on things like cause, location of the brain injury and severity of the injury
Let’s talk about the “lobes” or sections of the brain. There are four: Frontal, Temporal, Parietal and Occipital. This will be very basic information about each of the lobes of the brain. Some behaviors/deficits may be explained by knowing which section of the brain is injured, and by understanding the basic functions of those lobes.
Frontal Lobe: Situated at the front of the skull, the “forehead region”, our frontal lobes are known as our emotional control center and are also, “home to our personality”. The frontal lobe is associated with motor skills, reasoning, higher level awareness/cognition and expressive language. This lobe receives information from other lobes of the brain and utilizes it to carry out body movements.
Temporal Lobes: Located on either side of the skull, above the ear, the temporal lobes are associated with visual and auditory (hearing) input. They provide the organization of the input. Persons with injury to the temporal lobe may have difficulty placing words or pictures into categories. They are highly associated with memory skills. Left temporal injury may result in impaired memory for verbal material, while right temporal injury may result in the inability to recall non verbal material, i.e. music, drawings. Severe damage to the temporal lobe may also increase unfavorable sexual behavior.
Parietal Lobe: The parietal lobe is the middle section of the brain, located near the back and top of the head. This lobe is responsible for processing tactile sensory information such as touch, pain, pressure, etc. An important section of the brain is located in the parietal lobe and is essential to the processing of the body’s senses.
Occipital Lobe: The occipital lobe is located in the back portion of the brain. It is associated with vision. An important section of this lobe of the brain is the primary visual cortex. This area receives and interprets information from the retinas of the eyes. Damage to this lobe can cause a variety of visual disturbances and even blindness.
Again, no two brain injuries are exactly alike. Every person will respond and recover at a different rate. This is just meant to help you to understand a little more on why the deficit you may be seeing with your brain injured loved one, is present.