Right lateral View of human brain

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A lateral view of the human brain is the best perspective from which to appreciate the lobes of the cerebral hemisphere. Each hemisphere is conventionally divided into four lobes, named for the bones of the skull that overlie them: the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. The frontal lobe is the most anterior, and is separated from the parietal lobe by the central sulcus. A particularly important feature of the frontal lobe is the precentral gyrus. (The prefix pre-, when used anatomically, refers to a structure that is in front of or anterior to another.) The cortex of the precentral gyrus is referred to as the motor cortex and contains neurons whose axons project to the motor neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord that innervate the skeletal (striated) muscles. The temporal lobe extends almost as far anterior as the frontal lobe but is inferior to it, the two lobes being separated by the lateral (or Sylvian) fissure. The superior aspect of the temporal lobe contains cortex concerned with audition, and inferior portions deal with highly processed visual information. Hidden beneath the frontal and temporal lobes, the insula can be seen only if these two lobes are pulled apart or removed. The insular cortex is largely concerned with visceral and autonomic function, including taste. The parietal lobe lies posterior to the central sulcus and superior to the lateral fissure. The postcentral gyrus, the most anterior gyrus in the parietal lobe, harbors cortex that is concerned with somatic (bodily) sensation; this area is therefore referred to as the somatic sensory cortex. The boundary between the parietal lobe and the occipital lobe, the most posterior of the hemispheric lobes, is somewhat arbitrary (a line from the parieto-occipital sulcus to the preoccipital notch). The occipital lobe, only a small part of which is apparent from the lateral surface of the brain, is primarily concerned with vision. In addition to their role in primary and sensory processing, each cortical lobe has characteristic cognitive functions. Thus, the frontal lobe is critical in planning responses to stimuli, the parietal lobe in attending to stimuli, the temporal lobe in recognizing stimuli, and the occipital lobe in vision.

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