The human brain is the most complicated thing in the world. The number of neurons and links they have with each other is higher than the one of stars in the universe. That is why it is important to know and distinguish the roles of each part of the brain, and how it influences behavior patterns. I am concerned at analyzing and contrasting the functions of the temporal and frontal lobes. I will also focus on the cases of their damage and the effects this has on human behavior and performance.
In order to understand the role of the temporal and frontal lobes, these terms should be defined. The first is “one of the four large divisions of the cerebral cortex located on the lower side of each hemisphere, which is separated from the frontal and parietal lobes by the lateral sulcus”. The frontal lobe is “the part of the cerebral cortex in front of the central sulcus”. The main distinction between these parts of the brain is functions they perform. The areas responsible for social and sexual behavior, hearing, speech, visual perception, and categorization are located in the temporal lobe. Executive functions and motor control are regulated by the frontal lobe. The temporal lobe is also concerned with memory. Another function of the frontal lobe is to modify emotions that are associated with certain memories as well. It results into the ability of a person to fit his or her behavior into socially accepted norms. The temporal lobe is also responsible for emotions and storing memories (long-term memory in the hippocampus). There is a connection between the temporal and frontal lobes and the formation of human behavior.
When there is a dysfunction in one of the lobes, the behavior of a person is modified. For example, when normal patterns of the work of the frontal lobe are not followed, impulsivity and passivity take place, as well as violent behavior and emotional withdrawal appear. There is a possibility of apathy and disorganization. Some dysfunction in the temporal lobe causes a different situation. Behavior is opposite to frontal lobe disorder symptoms. A person becomes aggressive and irritable with hysteric outbursts, and obesity. There is also a probability of epilepsy. The aspect of heredity has an impact on behavior schemes. A person may develop temporal lobe epilepsy or frontotemporal degeneration only because there is a genetic predisposition to it.
The whole set of disorders appear in cases when the temporal and frontal lobes are injured. Their damage may lead to such disorder as aphasias. It is “a disorder of language produced by damage to the language zone”. There are two kinds of aphasias that can be developed when one of the lobes is damaged. They include Broca’s aphasia and Wernicke’s one. The Broca’s area is located in the frontal lobe, and the Wernicke’s area is in the temporal lobe. The first disorder is characterized by the disrupted ability to speak. “Widely accepted definitions of Broca’s aphasia also include poor repetition, reading, and writing ability”. People with Wernicke’s aphasia can produce speech, but they have difficulties with the process of conveying the meaning of words and sentences.
To conclude, the temporal and frontal lobes are responsible for the development of behavior. The former plays a great role in social behavior formation, while the latter has executive functions. Certain cases of aphasia are possible when one of the lobes is damaged.
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