Interesting Facts about the frontal lobe

Frontal lobe the Fat_ControllerThe frontal lobe gets a lot of attention when talking about brain injury. It deserves to, it is important.

Whatever the cause of brain injury, the frontal lobe is also a part of the brain often damaged. This can have a significant impact on a person’s life.

How Important is the Frontal Lobe?

“How come you get so much attention?”

“Who me?” asks the Frontal Lobe explaining “I deserve it, I am terribly important, just ask anybody who has trouble with me!”

“Why are you so special?

“I am the boss. You might call me the ‘‘ (the Fat Controller is so important, he has his own Wiki Page). I manage most of what the brain does. I keep you from doing really silly things and I am responsible for that charming personality you have”.

Now that was my attempt at making anatomy entertaining!

My very own frontal lobe is telling me that this approach may be inappropriate, insensitive, and lacking good judgement. And that is exactly what I would expect a good frontal lobe to do. I am ignoring mine today.

Today I am having a go at a brief, and hopefully simple, explanation of what the frontal lobe does. I am taking this on, as my challenge, because I believe having some idea of anatomy and function helps understanding of the bigger picture of brain injury, what might go wrong AND as a reminder .

My opening conversation with the frontal lobe was silly…but it is kind of true. When describing executive function in an earlier post : we see the frontal lobe is the boss, the conductor of the orchestra, the place of executive function, the place where cognitive function is often sorted out.

Simply:

It gets to tell the rest of the brain what to do with information that is coming in.

What Is The Frontal Lobe?

Not sure where to find the frontal lobe – it is the largest lobe. It sits at the front of the head, behind your forehead. If you think about the position of the frontal lobe, you can see why it is often bumped in a car accident, or traumatic injury when a person is thrust forward.

Generally, the further forward in the frontal lobe you go, the more high level the function, and the more connections to tell the rest of the brain and body what to do. This is why you often hear or read about the “prefrontal cortex” in brain injury- its the part in the front, of the front, of the frontal lobe!

The Frontal Lobe is also the newest part of the brain (well no, not in the last few weeks, not even in the past 100 years). If you have not yet had a look, you will find a description of this, in a pretty unforgettable and humorous way, in a video clip I shared some time ago where Suzy Polucci mimics that major developmental parts of the brain. I really encourage you to take time to have a look, even just to enjoy her funny presentation. You will be surprised what you learn along the way.

What Does the Frontal Lobe Do?

The frontal lobe collects some information from the body and environment. It also gathers information from all other parts of the brain.It then sorts out what that information means; and organises a response.

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