Frontal Lobes

The frontal lobes are considered our emotional control center and home to our personality. There is no other part of the brain where lesions can cause such a wide variety of symptoms (Kolb & Wishaw, 1990). The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgment, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. The frontal lobes are extremely vulnerable to injury due to their location at the front of the cranium, proximity to the sphenoid wing and their large size. MRI studies have shown that the frontal area is the most common region of injury following mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (Levin et al., 1987).

Functions:

How we know what we are doing within our environment (Consciousness).
How we initiate activity in response to our environment.
Judgments we make about what occurs in our daily activities.
Controls our emotional response.
Controls our expressive language.
Assigns meaning to the words we choose.
Involves word associations.
Memory for habits and motor activities.

Observed Problems:

Loss of simple movement of various body parts (Paralysis).
Inability to plan a sequence of complex movements needed to complete multi-stepped tasks, such as making coffee (Sequencing).
Loss of spontaneity in interacting with others.
Loss of flexibility in thinking.
Persistence of a single thought (Perseveration).
Inability to focus on task (Attending).
Mood changes (Emotionally Labile).
Changes in social behavior.
Changes in personality.
Difficulty with problem solving.
Inablility to express language (Broca's Aphasia).

>> next page

<< back to start