Interactive Brain

Lateral view of the human brain
Medial view of the human brain

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. 

You can hover over the brain image to highlight different parts, and click them to see a description of that part, or tab through the slideshow controls to navigate to different brain parts.

The description of a part will include what might happen when it is 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 to the opposite side or even throughout the brain.

Frontal Lobe

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 Lobe

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 Lobe

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 Lobe

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

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

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
Posted on BrainLine August 21, 2012. Reviewed July 25, 2018.

Comments (69)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

if we don't have a part of the brain what gonna happen

i didnt know what the thing on the back of your brain was called now i do and know what it does

Hope you are ok now!

30 years ago I went through the last of three surgeries in my early twenties to remove scar tissue on my right temporal lobe that caused epilepsy. I did well on all the post surgery cognitive and related tests at the time. However, all wasn't perfect. I have struggled on my own over the years, not knowing the issues I experienced were not normal. I have managed to do good in school and my career by self-creating my own techniques to help remember things and improve my ability to perform tasks. The internet wasn't around to help me realize that others were going through the same things. I just found this site today and am glad to learn more. My only issue I have been struggling with in recent years is that you feel you need to announce to everyone you work with that you had a brain injury/surgery, so you are not in the rumor mill for being slower than other employees and have other mild issues that normal people may think is odd. For me, I repeat things a lot, can process a little slower, and have some peripheral vision loss. I am looking for another job now because my current work environment is not a pleasant environment even for a person without my issues.

It is nearly 18 months too late? but maybe not. Go see a neuroscientist AND a neurologist AND perhaps a neurosurgeon. They each do different things but you should be able to get some answers. Good luck & my prayers are with you. May God get this message delivered to you. Take care.

what exercises for memory ? What techniques?

I love that I can learn all of this info

That was a lot of information to learn of the brain. I like how it tells everything about the parts of the brain.

I can relate to your story and I am in a struggle for my sanity. I have had no therapy and I don't feel understood by anyone. I have quit bathing and I have little contact with even my husband and son. I am in constant state of pain which brings on debilitating seizures. My husband has said I am embarrassing and I don't want my son to see anymore. He was 3 when I wrecked and now he is 17. After the wreck I hid a lot of my feelings due to being accused constantly of abusing my medication. I couldn't lose my baby. When my son was in middle school I wrecked picking him up from school from a seizure and had to stop driving. I remember that all to well. I would never hurt him. Why did no one see I needed help i could not have hid that well and how do I get up. I am so tired. Things have spiraled out of control. I have not one relationship in my other than my best friend from high school. I stay out of the way.

Neuropsych can assist you or seek treatment from a speech therapist. They can do some cognitive exercises to assist with memory.

Amen for good thing.

You've turned a tragic experience into a true blessing and a service! The light of God surrounds and fills you. Always.

I was in a head on collision in 1995. I still do not any events of that day or months that led up to the accident. I was life flighted and died twice. Brain bleed and sever swelling along with collapsed lung. When I awoke 17 days after I didn't believe I was in an accident eventhough I was still in hospital. I had lost about 5 years of memory. Little specks of memory piece by piece and the majority was back. Except months leading up to the TMI. Since the accident I can not remember names. Even customers I see monthly for years. I know the face but not a name. I must ask and enter in computer and write it down and still no memory of it the next day.
Now at the age of 50, 25 years later I am having bigger issues with my memory that frightens me and I would love to learn about treatment. Now I can't remember tasks. I can't retain computer programs or where to go to find what. I will tell someone I will check on something and call them back and if I get interrupted before I speak to them again, I forget. I write notes and reminders and sets alarms in my phone if I remember to or don't get distracted. In this busy life, distraction is normal. I now work in an office by myself. I fear my co workers or boss will discover the problems I'm having and I'll lose my job. Life has become extremely difficult and stressful. I have always been an over achiever. Goal originated and now I could care less.
Does anyone have any recommendations?
I just had a complete blood profile done and nothing irregular was found.
I hope someone can tell me or guide me in a direction to reverse what is going on. I NEED HELP.

Sorry to hear, but take this advice from someone who's been on the receiving end of a TBI; His ADHD will be worse for sure, but most importantly he will not ever be is "old self" Hes changed. From his perspective his whole entire world and the lens he sees it through have changed. You just need to talk to him and actually listen and let him be whoever he wants to be. Its going to be a long time before hes comfortable with his new understanding of life but if you just support him and tell him everythings going to be okay and most importantly listen to him. His words will have more weight now than ever before.

I had a similar event from a fall off a scooter. I don’t remember the first 2 weeks due to medication. I spent a total of 10 weeks in inpatient or outpatient rehab and went back to work after 10 weeks. Things are mostly the same as they were from most people’s perspective. My family always looks for what’s different and I know what things still give me additional stress or fatigue. I’ve learned that I’ve been blessed and most people don’t improve as fast or as far. But that being said, there’s still things I know that are slightly harder than before. I’m at week 16 today so it’s hard to say how my case can help you understand your son’s. What I can say is it’s helpful when I don’t feel like I’m under a microscope. It’s helpful when my family doesn’t tell me I’m not better. Time is needed and some things might not go back to the original. As far as adhd, Im an adult who never had that issue, but I will say my perspective on life changed. I’m calmer most of the time and very thankful and appreciative of people who helped me along the way. For kids, things change over time. If my parents compared my 14 year old self with my 18 year old version, I’m not sure they’d think I was the same. God listens to prayers so keep saying those. I’m certain that’s why I’m still here, and very thankful every day. Good luck. I’ll pray for your son.

When i was a junior in college someone tried to murder me, they tried to slit my carotid artery but they didnt cut deep enough. it left me with extreme pain and i constantly pass out because the blood flow running to my brain was disrupted. The only reason I survived the attack was because I had a small katana in I turned around and stabbed the attacker. It was my dad. I still cry to this day. I am 38 now with 3 kids.

I have a 14 year old son who on May 31 was in a bad car accident. He was life flighted to local Children's hospital. Where he had two small brain bleeds and swelling. He was placed into medically induced. Coma so he would stay calm. He was in there for about two weeks maybe three. He was the. Sent to a children's rehab was there two weeks And is home now. Doing really well. He did have Adhd. before the accident. He is in school boys scouts and speech therapy once week. My question how long before he gets back to his old self. And could the accident make his Adhd worse.

I have a very bad frontal lobe.

This reading will allow me to ask more questions to my doctor about thins i feel they don't know about me,

For “Spirituality” ... I would have to go with the hippocampus, as it “facilitates our ability to navigate and find our way around the world” and also “helps us orient ourselves in our surroundings”.

If that isn’t the part of the brain that would have one connecting spiritually, then I am not sure which part would. However, “spirituality” is a whole different aspect from a loving relationship, from being filled with the Holy Spirit!

That involves every aspect and every part of the brain and body! I had a peach size, 99.95% of my left front temporal lobe removed in a double brain surgery June 13th and June 20th 2017. This stopped 20yrs of refractory seizures that were occurring as the after affect results from the onset of Lupus Neurosis and Lupus Nephritis that I was diagnosed with just twenty years prior, 1997.

Twenty years of seizures that were uncontrolled by medication and required brain surgery, twenty years of living life in a way I thought was “spiritual”, only to finally start living it right prior to surgery, living life the right way, living it in the way God asked us to, for; “He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
‭‭ Matthew‬ ‭22:37-39‬

I simply started putting my focus on God first in all things, and pouring my love out to all those around, my neighbors, even those who treat me with hurt! I have no idea what they are going through! My situation is nothing compared to what so many others ho through!

I was in a bad car accident when i was 14. The doctors said i would not survive one night and that my version was soup without further explanation. I didn't know until 5 weeks ago that i could even have side effects. I was a straight A student before the accident and afterwards i was all D's. I was still smart i just didn't know i needed help.
I am almost 40 now and I've been passing out, having pain in my head, am confused often, frustrated, have mood swings, trouble communicating, staying focused.
My wife gets so mad at me for not being able to communicate my feelings, show "proper" facial expressions, etc.
I am so glad she does not y get mad at me now for processing sound and speech. I just don't understand how to express to her that I'm really trying.
This is new for both of us as these symptoms, whatever they are, are so new. I did not have any of these problems a few years ago.
Oh, i shake now too. I can be doing something and in the middle of it I shake uncontrollably for what feels like an instant. My wife told me that the shakes last for a few minutes. Sometimes i have to open a door a few times before I can complete the task of getting out a dish or walking through it. I saw my doctor last week and she's referred me to a neurologist. I hope i hear good news.

Thank you sooooooooo much for all the info! It definitely helped me in my school brain project

I learned the different names of the brain along with what each part does. It was all fascinating to learn.

thank you for all of the insite. I don't think anyone has ever discussed the brain so well, or as good. thank you for all of your help.

I was injured in a grizzly bear mauling on 7/19/09. At first I was focused on my soft tissue and bone injuries and healing.
It wasn’t until I was referred to a speech therapist that it became apparent that I also had a tbi. Simple dayly tasks like reading counting money and driving. I found myself having to relearning my trade.
I am almost 9 years out from injury and have been able to maintain my small business.
I have found tools to help me with dayly life and my business.

I had a tumour on my brain-stem that was removed Dec 13/99. Damage from the surgery and then post op brain swelling 12 days later left me with brain-stem damage plus Limbic, Pons, Cerebellum, Temporal Lobe, Hypothalamus, and Amygdala damage. This site has helped me to understand why so many things are such a struggle for me. Thank you.

So sorry to hear of all your pain and suffering - I hope you are doing better now.

I got a tbi as I was leaving work.
One of my coworkers accidentally hit me with a truck.
I believed that I was fine. But the people that love me told me that I have been acting different.
I had to believe them because that are my family.
I'm 61 and worked on the power lines as a lineman. After seeing the best doctors,I am finding my way to normalcy.
I will never go back to the job that I love. But I am alive and well.

I also had a major car accident at the age of 19 and damaged front left lobe ( amongst other things). Been struggling ever since with concentration, social impulse and memory, but now I am 63 and have enjoyed a full and successful life. No secret, but surround yourself with close friends who can help and guide you and don't be afraid to asking what , why and how?

I am a 3 time aneurysm survivor one Rupture,one clamp,& 1 now with stage 4 lung cancer had many tell me it. Changed my memory and personality! But I'm alive so I'm happy for that !!
The main thing this site has indicated in my view is that each braininjury regardless of how similar seems to affect each person differently.
What part of the brain affects our spirituality

My son, now 48, had seizure 18 years ago. During the period of seizure he was also diagnosed to have suffered from Hypoxic Encephalitis resulting into loss of memory and recognizing ability. since then he is under medication as well as some brain stimulating exercises such as jigsaw puzzles etc. Somehow I don't find any improvement in his memory and cognitive impairment. Pl do advise.

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.

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

No matter what I learn I just can't get my head around it even if I concentrate it just doesn't go through my head

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?

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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?

I definitely learned things that I did not know before!

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

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.

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


Awesome, awesome, awesome, 

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!