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What Part Of The Brain Controls Cognitive Functions

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Frontal Lobe Function Location In Brain & Damage

The Brain

By Olivia Guy-Evans, published May 08, 2021

The frontal lobe is located behind the forehead, at the front of the brain. These lobes are part of the cerebral cortex and is the largest brain structure.

The frontal lobeâs main functions are associated typically with âhigherâ cognitive functions, including decision-making, problem-solving, thought and attention.

It contains the motor cortex,which is involved in planning and coordinating movement; the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible forhigher-level cognitive functioning; and Brocaâs Area, which is essential for language production

Right Brain Left Brain

The cerebrum is divided into two halves: the right and left hemispheres They are joined by a bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum that transmits messages from one side to the other. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. If a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, your left arm or leg may be weak or paralyzed.

Not all functions of the hemispheres are shared. In general, the left hemisphere controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right hemisphere controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left hemisphere is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people.

Which Frontal Lobe Group Works To Make A Decision

According to the data obtained by William T. Newsomes team, decisions would be made by a single group of neurons located in the frontal lobe, which would integrate the information and then make a single choice, always evaluating the various alternatives.

However, to move forward you have to be able to decide. Say: This is my path, I choose it. However, it is valid to understand something fundamental: not deciding is also a way of deciding; it is letting circumstances or others choose for you.

That is why it is advisable to think not only about the decision itself, but also to weigh the consequences and the effects it will have. Do not be afraid of doubts, because they are part of the decision process. Therefore, once the alternatives and their consequences have been evaluated, one must take action, and it is good to remember the phrase of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: The whole world turns away when it sees a man passing by who knows where he is going.

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What Are The Main Cognitive Functions

Often times when we talk about superior cognitive functions, we’re referring to the cognitive skills that we use in order to understand and interact with the world. Although sometimes we study them as separate ideas, we have to remember that cognitive functions are always interrelated and that sometimes they overlap. We’ll take a look at the main brain functions:

ATTENTION: Attention is a complex mental process that cannot be reduced to one simple definition, one concrete anatomical structure, and that cannot be assessed by one single test as it encompasses diverse processes. To simplify, attention is the cognitive or brain function that we use to select between stimuli that reach our brain simultaneously, both external and internal , that are useful for carrying-out a mental or motor activity. In reality, it is a whole set of processes that vary in complexity and allow us to carry-out the rest of our cognitive functions well. According to Sohlberg and Mateer , attention can be broken into different types depending on its complexity.

FOCUSED ATTENTION: Being alert. The ability to respond to a stimulus.

SUSTAINED ATTENTION: The ability to hold attention during a period of at least 3 minutes. It is was we more commonly call “concentration”. When we read a book we are concentrating.


Short-term memory:

-Immediate memory

Long-Term Memory


References memories that may be consciously evoked.

1- Goal setting:

-Time control

The Limbic System Or Emotional Center

Human Brain Functions and CogniFit

The list of structures that make up the limbic system are not agreed upon.

Four of the main regions of the limbic systems include:

  • The amygdala
  • Regions of the limbic cortex
  • The septal area

These structures relay between the limbic system and the hypothalamus, thalamus, and cerebral cortex. The hippocampus is important in memory and learning. While the limbic system itself is central in the control of emotional responses.

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Clinical Relevance In Brief:

  • Reduced volume and interconnections of the frontal lobes with other brain regions has been observed in people diagnosed with mental disorders; those subjected to repeated stressors; suicides; those incarcerated; criminals; sociopaths; those affected by lead poisoning; and daily cannabis users.
  • Feeling guilt or remorse, and to interpret reality, may be dependent on a well-functioning prefrontal cortex.
  • The size and number of connections in the prefrontal cortex could relate directly to sentience, as the prefrontal cortex in humans occupies a far larger percentage of the brain than any other animal.
  • The left and right halves of the prefrontal cortex appear to become more interconnected in response to consistent aerobic exercise.
  • Practicing mindfulness can enhance prefrontal activation, which is correlated with increased well-being and reduced anxiety.

Frontal Lobe Brain Anatomy. Image decade3d/

Formal Executive Functioning Programs

Formal training follows guidelines that are based on the;practice recommendations and guidelines of the Cognitive;Rehabilitation Task Force of the American Congress of;Rehabilitation Medicine Brain Injury Interdisciplinary;Special Interest Group . The training guidelines were;developed from three systematic reviews of the cognitive rehabilitation;literature with the most recent reviewing literature;from 2003-2008 . From the;review, a practice standard, practice guideline and practice;option for remediation of executive dysfunction were derived.;?

  • Practice standardmetacognitive strategy training for deficits in EF after TBI,;including impairments of emotional;regulation, and as a component of;interventions for deficits in attention,;neglect and memory.
  • Practice guidelinetraining in formal;problem-solving strategies and;their application to everyday situations;and functional activities in;post-acute rehab.
  • ?Practice optiongroup-based;interventions.
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    What Does The Frontal Lobe Do

    The frontal lobe is the slowest part of the brain to mature, continuing to create and prune neural connections until a person’s mid-twenties. This means that brain damage early in life renders the frontal lobe particularly vulnerable, potentially affecting behavior and cognition forever.

    The frontal lobe is involved in a wide range of higher cognitive functions. Although all mammals have a frontal lobe, highly social mammals, such as dolphins and primates, tend to have more developed frontal lobes. This suggests that our social interactions may play a key role in the development of intelligence, and that the brain must devote significant resources to responding to the demands of social interactions. Humans have larger and more developed frontal lobes than any other animal.

    Some of the many functions of the frontal lobe include:

    What Part Of The Brain Controls Cognitive Function

    How Does the Brain Work? – Human Cognition | PSYCHOLOGY & BRAIN SCIENCE VIDEO


    The frontal lobe is important for cognitive functions and control of voluntary movement or activity. The parietal lobe processes information about temperature, taste, touch and movement, while the occipital lobe is primarily responsible for vision.

    Similarly, what part of the brain controls critical thinking? The part of the brain that is responsible for complex thinking is the Frontal LobeLocated under the forehead, the frontal lobe controls reasoning, planning, voluntary movement, and some aspects of speech. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the frontal lobe right behind the forehead.

    Also know, what part of the brain is responsible for cognition quizlet?

    They are the prefrontal cortex, the premotor area and the motor area. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for personality expression and the planning of complex cognitive behaviors. The premotor and motor areas contain nerves that control the execution of voluntary muscle movement.

    What brain area is most closely associated with cognition?

    Frontal Lobe

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    What Happens When The Frontal Lobe Is Damaged

    Most people experience some atrophy in the frontal lobe in their senior years, with frontal lobe volume decreasing by .5%-1% each year beginning around age 60. This slow and steady decline accounts for many of the changes, such as mild memory loss and difficulty with finding some words, associated with normal aging. More rapid frontal lobe decline can lead to symptoms of dementia.

    The frontal lobe is highly vulnerable to damage for at least two reasons: first, as the last brain region to fully develop, developmental anomaliesincluding child abuse, an insufficiently stimulating environment, drug use, infections, and other factorscan permanently alter its development. Second, the frontal lobe’s home in the front of the forehead renders it highly vulnerable, especially to auto accident-related injuries, violence, and falls. Even relatively minor blows can rattle the brain sufficiently to impede frontal lobe functioning.

    The effect of frontal lobe damage is dependent on its location and severity, as well as how quickly it is detected. Children who face serious abuse may live with frontal lobe damage for years, while car accident survivors often get more immediate help. Treatment for frontal lobe injuries typically includes medical and psychological treatment, since the frontal lobe houses the emotional life and personality.

    Brain Structure And Function

    The brain has two halves or hemispheres: right and left. The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the right side. In most people, the left hemisphere regulates language and speech, and the right hemisphere controls nonverbal, spatial skills. If the right side of the brain is damaged, movement of the left arm and leg, vision on the left, and/or hearing in the left ear may be affected. Injury to the left side of the brain affects speech and movement on the right side of the body. Each half of the brain is divided into main functional sections, called lobes. There are four lobes in each half of the brain: the Frontal Lobe, Temporal Lobe, Parietal Lobe, and Occipital Lobe. Other important sections of the brain are the Cerebellum and the Brain Stem. Although not usually divided into lobes, the cerebellum and brain stem both have different parts. Each of the brain hemispheres and lobes, cerebellum, and brain stem has specific functions, and they all work together:

    This image is from:

    Frontal Lobe:;most anterior, right under the forehead; the frontal lobe controls intellectual activities, such as the ability to organize, as well as personality, behavior, and emotional control.

    Parietal Lobe:;near the back and top of the head above the ears; the parietal lobe controls the ability to read, write, and understand spatial relationships.

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    Relationship Between Both Halves Of The Brain

    Although we have commented that each hemisphere has its peculiarities and has its own functions, this does not mean that they are radically different from each other or that they do not carry out activities together.;

    What must be understood is that there are activities that are carried out mainly by one of the two hemispheres and others in which it is the task of its counterpart.

    As a curiosity, the research points out that interhemispheric differences are something distinctive of the human species.;

    In most people, both hemispheres complement each other. Normally, verbal aspects such as speech are under the control of the left hemisphere; however, there are cases, especially in left-handed people, in which speech is an activity exerted by areas located in both hemispheres.

    In addition, it has been seen that, in situations in which a brain injury occurs, there may be changes in the location of certain functions.;

    This transfer of functions is especially significant in childhood, at which time, thanks to brain plasticity, the brain tries to save its own capacity from the injured area by making it another area, and it may be from the opposite hemisphere, who becomes position.

    Effects Of Physical Activity On Cognitive Performance

    Brain Cortex Diagram  UNTPIKAPPS

    We had seen above that cognitive exercises and motor imagery can effect overall motor performance , but does the reverse hold true? Can motor training and exercise affect cognitive performance? The mind and its attendant cognitive abilities is no longer simply conceived of as a control mechanism for logical/abstract functions, but rather as a biological system interconnecting bodily experience and action and how those functions allow interaction with other individuals. From this perspective, the physicalmental dichotomy cannot be simply understood in the context of action and representation, but must be seen as closely interrelated, perhaps even part of the same process. Action, the interaction with objects, and the co-operation with individuals in our world; the representation of the world as well as perceiving what is in it, categorizing it, and understanding the significance of perceptions, are different levels of the same relational link that exist between organisms and the local surroundings in which they operate, live, and think. This is reflected both developmentally: in the effects of motor development on cognitive development and throughout life.

    Castelli et al. , in a relatively large sample, found a relationship between physical fitness and achievement test performance in thirdfifth graders. Their Fitnessgram was based on aerobic capacity , muscle , and the participants bodymass index. The results are represented in Figure .

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    Stress Management May Reduce Health Problems Linked To Stress Which Include Cognitive Problems And A Higher Risk For Alzheimer’s Disease And Dementia

    It’s not uncommon to feel disorganized and forgetful when you’re under a lot of stress. But over the long term, stress may actually change your brain in ways that affect your memory.

    Studies in both animals and people show pretty clearly that stress can affect how the brain functions, says Dr. Kerry Ressler, chief scientific officer at McLean Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Scientists have seen changes in how the brain processes information when people experience either real-life stress or stress manufactured in a research setting. Either type of stress seems to interfere with cognition, attention, and memory, he says.

    Stress affects not only memory and many other brain functions, like mood and anxiety, but also promotes inflammation, which adversely affects heart health, says Jill Goldstein, a professor of psychiatry and medicine at Harvard Medical School. Thus, stress has been associated with multiple chronic diseases of the brain and heart. In addition, it can affect men and women differently, she says.

    Trauma Its Effects On The Brain And Coping Skills

    Coping with trauma has multiple physical, emotional, and psychological effects, and can have severe effects on the brain as well. The three main parts affected by trauma are the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex.

    The amygdala is a part of the brain that mainly regulates the fight, flight, or freeze response. This response typically occurs during traumatic events we either fight back, flee from the situation, or freeze in place. When we experience triggers and/or threatening situations, a part of the brain called the thalamus releases stress hormones, which stimulates the amygdala. When the amygdala is stimulated, a split second decision is made . This means that the cortex, where judgment and critical thinking take place, does not have control over the situation. During these situations, we tend to experience an increase in heart rate, quicker breathing, shaking, sweating, and other physiological symptoms. In some situations, it can take hours to return to normal functioning.

    On the bright side, there are multiple ways to cope with how trauma affects the brain.

    Knowing how trauma affects the brain as well as how it affects you individually can help you figure out coping skills that work for you. Healing is not linear and you might not feel great every day, but having coping skills at your disposal can make a difference.

    You are strong. You can get through this.

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    Prefrontal Cortex: Summary And Conclusions

    The PFC is a large and complex brain region that is best conceptualized as being located at the highest point of a sensorimotor pyramid, starting with the primary sensory cortices and ending at the primary motor cortex . Highly processed information from sensory association areas converges onto the PFC, which then integrates the information with existing priorities, leading to the construction of adaptive behavioral plans based on this input. Different PFC sectors receive different sensory information and project to different effector areas, but the pattern is consistent. The DLPFC contains its own sensorimotor transfer machinery, while the OFC and mPFC are located in the same sensorimotor circuit .

    The magnitude and extended connectivity of the PFC are part of what makes the human brain unique. Since its func tions are so important to human behavior, it is not surprising that multiple psychiatric conditions are associated with abnormalities in the PFC. On the other hand, it is important to note that the PFC is one way-station in a closely coordinated circuit of brain areas. The interactions of the PFC with the striatum, the MD thalamus, and the MTL are essential for proper PFC function. Many consequences of PFC lesions in humans and animals can be replicated by lesions of the striatum, thalamus, or amygdala, or by disconnection of the PFC from these areas.

    Kane O Pryor, Robert A Veselis, in, 2006

    Bilingualism And Executive Functions

    Hypothalamus – Human Brain Series – Part 17

    A growing body of research demonstrates that bilinguals might show advantages in executive functions, specifically inhibitory control and task switching. A possible explanation for this is that speaking two languages requires controlling one’s attention and choosing the correct language to speak. Across development, bilingual infants, children, and elderly show a bilingual advantage when it comes to executive functioning. The advantage does not seem to manifest in younger adults. Bimodal bilinguals, or people who speak one oral language and one sign language, do not demonstrate this bilingual advantage in executive functioning tasks. This may be because one is not required to actively inhibit one language in order to speak the other.Bilingual individuals also seem to have an advantage in an area known as conflict processing, which occurs when there are multiple representations of one particular response . Specifically, the lateral prefrontal cortex has been shown to be involved with conflict processing. However, there are still some doubts. In a meta-analytic review, researchers concluded that bilingualism did not enhance executive functioning in adults.

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