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The Role Of The Frontal Lobes

5466 words - 22 pages

The Role of the Frontal Lobes Table of Contents

1 Introduction_ 3

2 The Structure and Functional Anatomy of the Frontal Lobes 3

2.1 Figure 1. A diagrammatic representation of the brain_ 5

3 Luria’s Model of Brain Function_ 5

4 The Complex Function of Frontal Lobes 6

5 No Longer En-Gage-ing; What Happens When The Frontal Lobes Go Wrong?_

5.1 The Frontal Lobes and Personality 7

5.2 The Frontal Lobes and Executive Function / Drive 8

5.2.1 Theories of frontal lobe function_ 9 Working memory_ 9 Controlled vs Automatic processes 9 Use of Scripts 9 Guidance of Behaviour Towards a Goal 9

5.3 The Frontal Lobes and Emotion / Mood and Affect 9

5.4 The Frontal Lobes and Self Reflectiveness 10

5.5 The Frontal Lobes and Speech, Language and Motor Symptoms 10

6 Conclusion_ 11

7 References 12

1 Introduction

No single theory has managed to comprehensively explain front lobe
functionality. Many theories exist that explain frontal lobe
functionality, which focus on various aspects of functionality such as
planning and ability to moderate behaviour, social behaviour,
personality and emotion. The frontal lobes are complex in their
functionality and only a synthesis of the various theories can begin
to present a more adequate picture of the various functions of the
frontal lobe, as well the importance of the various other parts of the
brain that are inextricably intertwined with the frontal lobes in
their functionality. “It is clear that every complex form of behaviour
depends on the joint operation of several faculties located in
different zones of the brain” (Luria, p. 67)

The frontal lobes are described as the brain’s “orchestra leader”
(Martin, 1998, p. 190), which would place them at the reins of
controlling effective behaviour. Damage to the frontal lobes
encompasses a wide range of symptoms including deficits in executive
functioning, changes in personality, emotional expression and social
interaction. This includes apathy and lack of spontaneity, inability
to plan and modify the sequencing of behaviour and inappropriate

2 The Structure and Functional Anatomy of the Frontal Lobes

In order to understand the complex nature of the frontal lobes, a
synopsis of the anatomy of the relevant parts of the brain is

Each hemisphere of the brain is divided into four geographical areas:
the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobe and occipital lobe.
This division is not based on functionality, but is an aesthetic one.
The frontal lobe is the largest of these geographic areas with the
Rolandic fissure (Central...

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