What Are the Functions of the Frontal Lobe?

Personality and emotions are the domain of the frontal lobe.
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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2014
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The frontal lobe is the portion of the brain that lies directly behind a person's forehead. This part of the brain is believed to be a powerhouse for human personality and emotions. It is also associated with creativity, mobility, and memory. If damage or trauma occurs, certain other functions of the frontal lobe may be displayed due to changes in activities and capabilities, such as sexual behavior and problem-solving abilities.

To help understand the functioning of the brain, it is often divided into sections. The frontal lobe, as the name suggests, is the section that is at the front the head, behind the forehead. This section of the brain is often further divided into left and right lobes.

The left and the right lobes are believed to be responsible for certain functions in most people, but it is believed that in some cases both areas may contribute to those activities and capabilities. Even if a particular lobe is not wholly responsible for a particular capability, theories suggest that one lobe will be dominant. For example, the left frontal lobe is the area associated with the conversion of thoughts into words. The right frontal lobe is considered the dominant region for sexual arousal.


The frontal lobe handles paying attention. Both the right and the left lobes seem to play a role in this mental ability. It has been found, however, the the left lobe is weaker in this regard and may experience lapses from this duty. Personality and emotions are two other functions of this lobe. This area of the brain determines how a person imparts and processes the emotions in speech and the amount of concern that she has for others.

Another of the noted functions of the frontal lobe is reasoning. One way that this area of the brain is believed to facilitate reasoning is by allowing multiple ideas to be considered. Doing this requires memory, which is also noted as something else the frontal lobe handles. Memory plays a role in reasoning because one thought is held in consideration as new thoughts form and are stored.

Beliefs that functions of the frontal lobe include judgment and self-control are often validated when damage occurs. Frontal lobe damage has been associated with hyper-sexuality, mania, and inappropriate emotional behavior. Furthermore, mobility is something the frontal lobe controls. Trauma to this area of the brain has, therefore, been connected to loss of strength and ability to move certain body parts.


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