What Is the Frontal Lobe?

Smiling is a voluntary movement believed to be controlled by the frontal lobe.
A human brain. The frontal lobe is in red.
The portion of the brain at the front of the head is called the frontal lobe.
Article Details
  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. It is commonly viewed as having four parts, referred to as lobes. The portion at the front of the head is known as the frontal lobe. If a person has developed normally, this area should account for more than half of the brain’s volume. The frontal lobe is believed to mature at about the 25th year of life and to be essential to a person’s identity.

As the brain is divided into left and right hemispheres, the frontal lobe is also divided in this way. Researchers have debated the functions of the left and right parts. Some believe each side has different functions and effects on life. Others believe that the two parts work together. Overall, the frontal lobe is believed to control human characteristics such as personality, emotions, and long-term memory.

Reasoning, problem solving, and high-level thinking are also believed to be controlled by this area of the brain. How a person views situations and the reactions he has are part of what makes him an individual. The frontal lobe is responsible for this part of each person’s identity. Theories suggest this area of the brain is what allows a person to apply knowledge and experience to current tasks.

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The body’s movements are generally believed to be controlled by two parts of the brain. The frontal lobe tends to be connected to voluntary movements. These include walking or smiling.

If a person sustains injuries to this area of the brain, a wide range of changes can occur. The person’s sexual behavior may change. In some instances the person will lose interest in sex. In other instances, however, the person’s sexual behaviors may differ.

Such an injury may make a person seem to be mentally altered. Although loss of knowledge is not generally associated with frontal lobe injuries, it is likely a person’s problem solving skills may be affected. This can result in a normally creative person displaying less creativity. It can also result in a person showing an inability or difficulty performing tasks that require reasoning or certain types of thinking.

Since the brain's front lobe plays a role in movement, injuries are often evident by abnormal facial expressions. The person’s emotional responses may be diminished or exaggerated. Further, his speech patterns may change. This means that frontal lobe injury has the ability to make a person seem completely different to those who know him prior to the injury.

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Discuss this Article

anon140427
Post 2

I too have discovered the same for my mother, and am also looking for treatment if I have any joy I will post here. --GR

anon127827
Post 1

Can you answer a question for me? my granddaughter is two years old and we found out that she has frontal lobe and occipital lobe issues. we had an MRI done. is there treatment?

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