How the Temporal Lobe Functions
Have you ever hit your head hard enough to give your self a headache for days to come? When I was 13 years old this unfortunately happened to me, but on a larger scale. I was in a car crash where I hit my head into the sidecar window, fracturing my skull and collapsing my eardrum. I was actually deaf in my left ear until I received eardrum reconstruction surgery to allow my primary auditory cortex to fully function once again. Learning about the brain and its functions in this course is not only academic for me, but also a reminder of the how the brain recovers.
The topic that I would love to discuss is the function of the Temporal Lobe and how this section of the brain contributes to most of our functions we take for granted. The Temporal Lobe is in control of remembering memories, understanding language, hearing and mustering up emotion and so much more. In this course we learn how the brain is separated into different sections, and what their functions may be. For example the Occipital Lobe is responsible for our vision and how we perceive distance. The Parietal Lobe is in charge of skin senses, such as hot and cold. And the Frontal Lobe is responsible for all of these senses, and also is in charge of cognation.
In our books the author describes the how the temporal lobe receives and process sound:
“When sound stimulates receptors in the ear, resulting electrical signals reach the auditory receiving area in the temporal lobe (Goldstein 30)”.
This description of the temporal lobes function proves that we need it in order to hear and that the Temporal Lobe is a Primary Receiving Area of the brain. When the sound reaches the Primary Auditory Cortex, it sends signals to secondary areas, which allows you to understand and process noise.
Scientist’s discovered what part of the brain serves a certain purpose by examining brain-damaged patients. When I was in my car crash, my skull was fractured right above my Temporal Lobe. Not only did this happen, but my left eardrum also collapsed, causing my temporal lobe to only process what I hear through my right ear. I was lucky that I did not have internal bleeding, but if I had damage to my Temporal Lobe I may not be able to remember quite as well, or even process sound.
This lesson in our books really hits home for me, because a few years ago I was hearing this information from doctors and not under my own terms. I really enjoy learning how our brain and body work in unison, and how much we now know about our minds. Its truly fascinating to me that our brain is categorized into different sections, and that these sections have specific duty’s. Without our Temporal Lobe we would not be able to remember beautiful memories, or even hear things around us.
Goldstein, B. (2011). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience, 3rd Edition. Wadsworth, Inc.