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Lobes of the Cerebral Cortex

Psychology (Year 12) - Biological Influences

Jessica Pratt

The cerebral cortex is the characteristic outer layer of the brain. It is the folded to greatly increase its surface area and allow for a greater, denser network of neural connections. Convolutions (or gyri) are rounded edges, whereas sulci and fissures are shallow and deep downfolds, respectively.

The cerebral cortex is divided into four lobes:

  1. the frontal lobe regulates thinking and decision-making, and contains the primary motor cortex (which initiates the movement of skeletal muscle) and Broca’s area.

  2. the parietal lobe interprets sensory information involving touch, temperature, pain, etc.

  3. the occipital lobe regulates visual functions such as perception and colour recognition.

  4. the temporal lobe coordinates hearing and memory, and contains Wernicke’s area.

Broca’s Area

An area located in the frontal lobe that is involved with language production. When damage occurs to this region, non-fluent aphasia results. This is characterised by halted or effortful speech.

Wernicke’s Area

A region in the temporal lobe that coordinates language comprehension. Damage to this area results in fluent aphasia, where individuals cannot grasp the meaning of spoken language.

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