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Brain Basics

Comments [34]

Brian King, BrainLine.org

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Brain Basics
Frontal Lobes
Parietal Lobes
Temporal Lobes
Occipital Lobes
Brain Stem
Pituitary Gland
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Brain Basics

Brain Basics


The brain is incredibly complex. Here we’ll show you the major parts, where they are located, and some of what they are responsible for. As each view and section appear, you’ll see a description here. The description will include what might happen when different areas of the brain are injured.

Please keep in mind that brain injuries can be as complex as the brain itself. A blow to one part of the head can potentially cause damage on the opposite side or even throughout the brain.

Touch the play button or the image of the next slide to begin.

To learn more about what happens when the brain is injured, please see the resources below.

Frontal Lobes

Frontal Lobes

Located behind the forehead, the frontal lobes are the largest lobes of the brain. They are prone to injury because they sit just inside the front of the skull and near rough bony ridges. These two lobes are involved in:

  • planning & organizing
  • problem solving & decision making
  • memory & attention
  • controlling behavior, emotions & impulses

The left frontal lobe plays a large role in speech and language.

Problems After Injury

Injury to the frontal lobes may affect:

  • emotions & impulses
  • language
  • memory
  • social and sexual behavior
Parietal Lobes

Parietal Lobes

Located behind the frontal lobes, the parietal lobes:

  • integrate sensory information from various parts of the body
  • contain the primary sensory cortex, which controls sensation (touch, hot or cold, pain)
  • tell us which way is up
  • help to keep us from bumping into things when we walk

Problems After Injury

Damage to the parietal lobes may result in:

  • an inability to locate parts of your body
  • an inability to recognize parts of your body

Temporal Lobes

Temporal Lobes

The temporal lobes are located on the sides of the brain under the parietal lobes and behind the frontal lobes at about the level of the ears. They are responsible for:

  • recognizing and processing sound
  • understanding and producing speech
  • various aspects of memory

Problems After Injury

Damage to specific parts of the temporal lobe can result in:

  • hearing loss
  • language problems
  • sensory problems like the inability to recognize a familiar person’s face

Occipital Lobes

Occipital Lobes

Located at the lower back of the head, the occipital lobes:

  • receive and process visual information
  • contain areas that help in perceiving shapes and colors

Problems After Injury

Damage to the occipital lobes can cause:

  • visual field defects
  • distorted perceptions of size, color, and shape



Located at the back of the brain, the cerebellum controls:

  • balance
  • movement
  • coordination

The cerebellum also allows us to:

  • stand upright
  • keep our balance
  • move around

Problems After Injury

Damage to the cerebellum can result in:

  • uncoordinated movement
  • loss of muscle tone
  • an unsteady gait

Brain Stem

Brain Stem

Located at the base of the brain, the brainstem is composed of the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla. It regulates basic involuntary functions necessary for survival such as:

  • breathing
  • heart rate
  • blood pressure
  • swallowing

It also plays a role in alertness and sensation.

Problems After Injury

Injury to the brainstem can disrupt basic functions so that they are no longer regulated automatically. These functions can include:

  • heart rate
  • breathing
  • swallowing


Located below the thalamus and above the brain stem, the hypothalamus:

  • helps us regulate body temperature
  • helps us realize when we are hungry or thirsty
  • plays a role in what mood we might be feeling
  • releases and controls many hormones that we need to function

Injury to the hypothalamus may affect:

  • sex drive
  • sleep
  • hunger
  • thirst
  • emotions
Pituitary Gland

Pituitary Gland

Located at the base of the brain, the pituitary gland:

  • regulates and releases important hormones to our body
  • plays a big part of our overall well-being

Injury to the pituitary gland may affect:

  • growth in children
  • blood pressure
  • fatigue
  • depression
  • sex drive
  • body temperature
  • pain


Located near the hippocampus in the frontal portion of the temporal lobes, the amygdala:

  • are invovled in the formation and storage of information related to emotional events
  • facilitate long-term memory formation
  • convert and retain learning from pleasure responses
  • help us recognize when we are in danger or fearful of something

Injury to the amygdala may affect:

  • memory formation
  • emotional sensitivity
  • learning and rentention
  • depression
  • anxiety


The hippocampus is located in the medial temporal lobe. The cells in the hippocampus are hypersensitive to oxygen loss or lower blood flow in the case of a brain injury. The hippocampus:

  • is responsible for memory creation and retention
  • helps us create new memories
  • helps us orient ourselves in our surroundings
  • facilitates our ability to navigate and find our way around the world

Injury to the hippocampus may affect:

  • new memory creation
  • new memory retention
  • mood
  • confusion
  • disorientation


Comments [34]

I am a ten year old and I am researching the brain for a project. All the comments make me feel so sad to hear all sad stories. I hope if you get a brain injury you can still live your life as a happy person.

also I have a friend who has a brain injury and is still always laughing.

May 8th, 2017 8:56pm

I have MS so my brain is always going through changes. I am on MS support group sites, I ask a question and get what seems like 1000 different answers. I love this site thank you

Apr 22nd, 2017 11:50am

An infection ate away a section of my husband's lower left lobe of his cerebellum.  He now has comprehension and memory problems. How can he be helped?

Jan 31st, 2017 11:19am

Wow, I've never openly admitted I had a head injury. Reading all these comments makes me feel normal. Thank you to all of you. I had my car crash in 2003 - loads of broken bones, fractures, HEAD INJURY. Frontal lobe was affected. Family was told the usual script "that I'll never be the same" etc. They were right. I think it was for the best I had this event in my life. It forced me to "simmer down". I was a careless 21 year old and now it has changed my future. I still can't hold a job for too long as I get bored, lose interest, and my focus and attention span is very short. Anyway, I've gone off on one. Wow I've wrote a biography lol. When this gets reviewed it probably get deleted but at least one person would have read it. Thank you.

Dec 31st, 2016 12:43am

Changed my thinking on the brain

Dec 6th, 2016 12:28pm

Does a temporal lobe stroke cause up to 10 headaches a day?

Nov 11th, 2016 12:21am

The Temporal Lobes do not just involve function of memory and language,they are also the "seat" of the personality and creativity.

My family member has Young Onset Dementia affected greatly the Temporal Lobes and her personality has greatly changed and she has also lost all her creativity.

She used to be intelligent and have a big personality and self of humor but now she is just "shell" of who she was and just sits there vacantly rocking with no personality,interests or thoughts.Its like it's all been "wiped out".

 Frontal Lobe damage is generally thought of as being associated with personality changes but it is lesser known that the Temporal lobe damage can also provide personality change.

Frontal Lobe should more be thought as Inhibition.Ie:if it is damaged the person can't inhibit their personality in social situations and makes social faux pas without concern or recognition.

Temporal Lobe, particularly Superior Temporal region changes,can affect the personality dramatically and the victims can be left without personality,or with extreme irrational anger outbursts,or unable to correctly read and interpret situations and therefor over reacting with much anger etc inappropriate to the situation.

Nov 2nd, 2016 7:05am

I had an astrocytoma removed and my surgeon stopped using the image guiding machine and decided that what he saw was part of the tumor turns out that when he snipped it it was actually a blood vessel so when he snipped the blood vessel I woke up on the OR table convulsing so hard in fact they strapped me down to the OR table when I woke up I tried to speak but had a tube down my throat and when I tried to wave my arms to tell the surgeon that I was awake I realized head strapped to the table so I started using sign language 28th my right fingers I caught the attention of the resident who said huh doctor so so I think she's awake. Shortly after that the anesthesiologist came over made me blink twice if I was awake I blinked next thing I remember is freaking out because they wanted me to go through the MRI after brain surgery the last thing I wanted was a bleeping MRI so they sedated me and ran me through the MRI. After all of that to make sure the tumor was gone I went through 6 weeks of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation surgery left me paralyzed on my left side

Oct 29th, 2016 2:48am

The probable cause of pain on the right frontal lobe is simply a migraine headache. Take solace in the fact that the brain is incapable of producing pain.

Apr 15th, 2016 12:14am

I am experiencing constant debilitating pain on the right side of my frontal lobe, do you have any idea what the cause of this could be?

Jan 7th, 2016 6:10pm

I definitely learned things that I did not know before!

-Parker Deal. (Mrs.Norris' Intro To Psych.)

Aug 29th, 2015 2:03pm

Each brain injury is unique. The most important thing the community surrounding the brain injured could add to the great progress occurring is to stop the community of "normals" from accusing the concussed of all forms of manipulation, laziness and under achievement. This is real the recovery time is ongoing. Be encouraging do not act as a detractor. To all who have brain injuries believe in yourself and love every day.

Aug 6th, 2015 3:52pm

I'm now 41 years old, 7 years ago I had a tbi, I fell off a roof landing on my head on the cement, this really has changed my life, I am a artist now and there is no way on eath I could draw a runni g stick man before I got hurt, Recovery is never easy what ever it is, but if you can somehow find the strengh to think positive, I should have a better recovery POSITIVE THINKING HAS SAVED MY LIFE JORDY JOHNSON WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/WESTCOASTFUSIONART

May 29th, 2015 3:34am

Awesome, awesome, awesome, 

Mar 2nd, 2015 12:06am

I love this site. My 23 yr old son suffered a TBI 6 yrs ago. I read everything posted here. I learn something new everyday . I majored in nursing and psychology and thought I was prepared to deal with this. How wrong I was! His injury prompted his then 15 yr old sister to major in neuropsychology. She graduates this yr from Penn State. Her attitude changed from " I no longer have a brother" to learning to understand and accept her "new" brother...and wanting to help others like him. Everything happens for a reason!

Sep 21st, 2014 2:58am

This is my favorite place I love to visit. Jack from Mongolia.

Jul 20th, 2014 10:10am

I had a hemorrhagic stroke 5 yrs ago. Drs say I was lucky to survive. I have many residual effects..I'm now in a new state. Drs here say i did not have a stroKe. I'M very frustrated. I'm going to go to a neurological university in my prev state and get my follow-up

Jun 16th, 2014 10:55am

This is so depressing...on top of major depression. Just reinforces my feelings of inadequacy. And I'm a neuroscience RN. Haha... Well, I used to be, although I've kept my RN license current, just to make me feel like I'm worthwhile, although, I'm not.

And to top it off, in order to leave a comment, I have to try to decipher some weird code-garbled word, I've tried 3x, and I'm about to give up. I have a hard enough time just reading and comprehending normal typed words. Why do you make this so difficult? 

Jun 14th, 2014 12:03pm

Thank you for putting up this web site. It's been very helpful to many of us. I had a tumor/cancer removed September 2012 in the frontal lobe . Please keep us getting better...

May 25th, 2014 11:11pm

It cool it just gave me a answer about the brain

May 13th, 2014 2:17pm

Wow! I love this page! Really useful

May 11th, 2014 2:22am

As someone with TLE and a brain tumor, I found this site informative. Thank you

Mar 1st, 2014 10:12pm

It seems like the brain I'm left with after ruptured anuerism and stroke has at least one deficit from each part of the brain...

Mar 1st, 2014 4:27pm

What a wonderful site and great service to the community. Thank you Brainline!!!

Jan 29th, 2014 7:45am

this website is the best! use this website because it is the best!

Dec 5th, 2013 8:38am

:) :p

Dec 5th, 2013 8:36am

This website rocks :)

Dec 2nd, 2013 12:00pm

This is a great website! A future psychologist could really use this great information! 💛💚💜💙💝

Nov 2nd, 2013 11:05pm

This is a good website to the doctor and the people who want to become a doctor

Sep 25th, 2013 11:49am

It's a good information to know about Brain for people who don't know or people who have projects or homework. 😄

Sep 3rd, 2013 1:56pm

It's a good website to learn about brain parts

Sep 3rd, 2013 10:49am

Very nice and informative. Battleforhue.com a thru and headshot left me missing ONE THIRD OF MY BRAIN MISSING

Apr 12th, 2013 9:13am

it\'s good website and helpfull for us

Feb 19th, 2013 12:38pm

this is a good website and I love it helps with home work on the brain and some of the injures on the brain

Feb 4th, 2013 2:02pm


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