Essay on The Role of the Frontal Lobes

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The Role of the Frontal Lobes Table of Contents

1 Introduction_ 3

2 The Structure and Functional Anatomy of the Frontal Lobes 3

2.1 Figure 1. A diagrammatic representation of the brain_ 5

3 Luria’s Model of Brain Function_ 5

4 The Complex Function of Frontal Lobes 6

5 No Longer En-Gage-ing; What Happens When The Frontal Lobes Go Wrong?_ 6

5.1 The Frontal Lobes and Personality 7

5.2 The Frontal Lobes and Executive Function / Drive 8

5.2.1 Theories of frontal lobe function_ 9

5.2.1.1 Working memory_ 9

5.2.1.2 Controlled vs Automatic processes 9

5.2.1.3 Use of Scripts 9

5.2.1.4 Guidance
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The frontal lobes are described as the brain’s “orchestra leader” (Martin, 1998, p. 190), which would place them at the reins of controlling effective behaviour. Damage to the frontal lobes encompasses a wide range of symptoms including deficits in executive functioning, changes in personality, emotional expression and social interaction. This includes apathy and lack of spontaneity, inability to plan and modify the sequencing of behaviour and inappropriate behaviour.

2 The Structure and Functional Anatomy of the Frontal Lobes ===========================================================

In order to understand the complex nature of the frontal lobes, a synopsis of the anatomy of the relevant parts of the brain is pertinent.

Each hemisphere of the brain is divided into four geographical areas: the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobe and occipital lobe. This division is not based on functionality, but is an aesthetic one. The frontal lobe is the largest of these geographic areas with the Rolandic fissure (Central sulcus) and the Silvian fissure (Lateral sulcus) and the Corpus Callosum creating the boundaries.

The frontal lobe is comprised of three functionally specific areas on the surface area of the cerebral cortex: the precentral cortex or primary motor cortex (Brodmann’s area 4), the premotor cortex (Brodmann’s area 6) and the prefrontal
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