Psych11 bloa - localisation of brain function- exterior structure
Localisation of brain
The role of the cerebral
The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain that
is responsible for such higher mental
processes as thinking, perceiving and
Lobes of the cerebral cortex
The four lobes are:
The frontal lobe
The parietal lobe
The occipital lobe
The temporal lobe
So What Makes Up A Lobe?
Primary area- Each lobe has a primary area,
which may be motor or sensory. These areas
are involved in receiving sensory messages or
sending movement messages to muscles.
Association area- Each lobe also has
association areas, which are involved in higher
order brain functions such as learning,
memory, thought and language. They receive
information from primary sensory areas and
from the lower parts of the brain. Association
areas make up 75% of the cerebral cortex.
The Frontal Lobe
The Frontal lobe is the largest lobe. It is located at the
front of the cerebral cortex.
It contains the motor cortex. The motor cortex is a
narrow strip, located at the back of the frontal lobe, in
front of the central fissure. The motor cortex controls
virtually all INTENTIONAL bodily actions.
Structures Within the Frontal Lobe
in front of the primary
motor area, and is
one of the secondary
areas of the frontal
lobe. The premotor
response to external
Structures Within the Frontal Lobe
areas- Located in
front of the primary
motor area next to the
premotor area. The
selects movements in
response to internal
The Association Area of the Frontal
Prefrontal cortex- The association area- The
prefrontal cortex refers to all of the cortical
tissue that lies in front of the premotor cortex
of the frontal lobes. It receives sensory input
from other cortical lobes. This means that
sensory information is involved in the cognitive
processes of planning, selecting and carrying
An Example of the Association Area in
E.g. The process of passing a ball to a teammate during
a game of netball not only requires the selection and
execution of the appropriate movements, but also
knowledge about your environment. All the planning
necessary for this behaviour relies on information
received from external circumstances.
Another source that may affect the planning of
movements comes from internal sources, such
as memory and emotion. The frontal lobes are
believed to be involved in memory formation,
personality and the control and expression of
emotions, although our understanding of this
process is limited.
The prefrontal lobe is capable of integrating
information from both internal and external
sources in order to plan behaviour.
Broca’s area is located in the LEFT Frontal
It is located close to the motor cortex, near the
areas responsible for the muscles of the face,
tongue, jaw and throat.
It is named after the French neurologist Pierre Broca
(1824- 1880), as he is considered the person who first
identified its function.
Broca treated a man named ‘Tan’. Tan had experienced
a number of strokes and as a result his verbal
communication was limited to ‘tan- tan’, however, he
could comprehend what others said to him. After Tan
passed away Broca examined his brain.
Broca conducted examined the brains of other clients
(after they died!) who displayed similar symptoms to Tan
all had damage to this part of the brain.
Broca’s area is responsible for/ plays a part in:
Coordinating messages to the parts of the
body that allow you to produce speech in a
clear and fluent manner.
Interacting with areas of the cerebral cortex
involved in deriving meaning from language,
sentence structure and grammar.
Damage to Broca’s area leads to a condition called Broca’s
aphasia, which is characterised by difficulties with speech
production but generally not with speech comprehension. The
language of Broca’s aphasia patients provides only the
content- the nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs.
Patients have difficulty using functional words that provide
grammatical meaning, such as on, and, at and about.
Other language abilities that aren’t dependent on speech
such as reading and writing, do not seem affected by damage
to Broca’s area.
Evidence also suggests that speech comprehension can be
impaired when the usual order of words has been changed.
Summarise this famous case study and what
researchers were able to learn from it.
Write some of the strengths and weaknesses
of case studies as a research method.
Extending towards the back
of the brain is the parietal
lobe. The parietal lobe is
involved in the functions
such as the sense of touch,
detection of movement, the
location of objects in the
surrounding environment and
the sensations felt by the
body as it moves. As with the
frontal lobe, the parietal lobe
has primary, secondary and
Primary Somatosensory Cortex
Primary somatosensory cortex-
Is located at the front of the
parietal lobe. It receives
information about what the body
is touching and feeling. It is
organised in a contralateral
manner. The sensory input
comes from the tracts of neurons
that extend from the spinal cord
up through the hindbrain and
The area of cortex relates to the
sensitivity of the body part.
Sensitivities of the Primary
Secondary and Association
Posterior parietal cortex
Input from other areas of the brain is
integrated in this secondary and association
area to inform sensational experiences.
The other functions include visual attention
and spatial reasoning.
lobe is located
back of the
cortex. It is the
smallest of the
Primary Visual Cortex
The primary visual cortex is
responsible for the initial
processing of visual
information by the brain. The
primary visual cortex
receives information via a
pathway of neurons that
extends from a part of the
brain known as the
thalamus, which transmits
information directly from the
optic nerve at the back of
Primary Visual Cortex
Information received from the visual cortex is
organised in a contralateral manner. The left
primary visual cortex receives information from
the left visual field, not the left eye and vice
The primary visual area does not devote equal
amounts of the cortex to all parts of the visual
field. Most of the cortex is devoted to stimuli in
the centre of the visual field than to the
peripheral aspects of the field.
To see an object as a whole, rather than its
components the visual information needs to be
further processed in the secondary and
association areas of the occipital lobe.
The temporal lobe contains
the primary auditory cortex.
The primary auditory cortex
is involved with the sense of
hearing. The primary auditory
cortex is organised in bands
according to the frequency of
sounds to which they
respond. Bands at the front
respond to low frequency
sounds, the bands at the
back to high frequency
Primary Auditory Cortex
The area of the cortex is disproportionate, with
middle frequencies having a greater amount of
cortex space dedicated to them. This is
because they are the frequencies generally
used in speech.
The several areas of secondary auditory
cortex surround the primary auditory cortex.
How these areas function is not fully
understood, but are believed to be activated in
response to more complex sounds. May be
involved in the detection of pitch, change in
frequency, identifying the location of sound in
The association areas is significant in
size. The area towards the back of the
temporal lobe, near the occipital lobe is
thought to be involved in the
labelling/naming of visual stimuli and
coupling visual and auditory stimuli. Other
areas are involved in memory formation
and emotions. The closeness of memory
and emotion areas may explain the link
between recalling memories and emotions
The temporal lobe appears to have a
significant role in memory, including
receiving, processing and storing
memories. Different types of memory are
involved, they are: semantic, procedural
and episodic memories.
The primary function of Wernicke’s area is to
interpret sounds, primarily the sound of human
speech. It is located near the auditory cortex
and emphasising the link between hearing and
language. It is located in the left hemisphere. It
seems to play a central role in associating the
sound of a word with its meaning. It could also
be where memories for the sounds that make
up words are stored. Wernicke’s area may
also control other areas involved in speech
production, such as Broca’s area.
When someone has lesions in
Wernicke’s area they are said to
suffer Wernicke’s aphasia.
Speech is still fluent, but the
content is disrupted. They tend
to make sound substitutions or
word substitutions. They
typically have trouble with
understanding information the
read or see.
They express a “word salad”
The Cerebellum is part of the
hindbrain. It is important for balance
More recent research also indicates
that it also plays a role in attention and
timing (including sensory timing).
People with damage to the cerebellum
have trouble shifting their attention
between auditory and visual stimuli.
An example of how timing may be
affected is that they may have trouble
distinguishing the pace of two rhythms
(i.e. Which one is faster).