Our brain is a marvelously complex artwork of evolutionary engineering. The brain regulates all body functions. All that we are is stored within its cells.
Although many things about the brain are already known to us, there are so many more things left to explore, especially regarding the frontal lobe.
We have yet to discover how to unlock the capabilities of this powerful lobe. The possibilities are endless!
We need to understand how our minds work
so we can work our minds better.
— Jim Kwik, Author of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Program
In this article, we’ll learn more about the important role the frontal lobe plays in our daily lives.
What Is The Job Of The Frontal Lobe Of The Brain?
The lobes of the brain govern different cognitive and biological processes. And the frontal lobe is one of several lobes we possess.
All mammalian species have a frontal lobe, though its complexity varies from species to species. Biologists believe it is a relatively recent evolutionary addition.
The frontal lobe was the last part of the human brain to develop. It’s located in the front of our skull and consists of two halves – the left and the right frontal cortex. Together, they make up two-thirds of the brain.
Functions Of The Frontal Lobe
The frontal lobe is crucial for making plans for the future. It’s also involved in self-management and decision making. Its other functions include:
- Motor skills – Within this lobe lies our primary motor cortex, which controls all voluntary movements, i.e. waving your hand, walking, and running.
- Language and speech– Part of the frontal lobe deals with expressing our thoughts through words. We call this part of the brain Broca’s area.
- Creating memories and remembering – Several different parts of the brain are responsible for crafting and storing memories, but the frontal lobe plays a big role in the creation of long-term memories.
- Formation of our personality– The frontal lobe balances all the intricacies of impulse, memory, inner motivation, and reactions to outside stimuli to shape and form our personality.
- Comprehension and reaction to the actions of the people around us – The frontal lobe enables us to empathize with others and holds the keys to our emotional intelligence.
- Object comparison – With the help of our frontal lobe, we can distinguish, classify, and analyze different objects.
- Motivation – The area of our brain that produces dopamine, a neurochemical responsible for feelings of motivation and reward, is located within the frontal lobe.
- Attention– The frontal lobe helps us shine the spotlight of our attention on the scope of our surroundings.
What Would Happen If The Frontal Lobe Was Damaged?
Frontal lobe damage can cause a number of serious issues. There are several recorded cases which demonstrate the consequences of frontal lobe injuries. The most famous one is that of Phineas Gage.
Phineas Gage was a railroad foreman working on a railroad bed in Cavendish, Vermont in 1848. When he was just 25 years old, a tamping iron he was using to pack explosive powder detonated and struck him. The iron penetrated his left cheek and exited the back of his skull – critically damaging his front lobe.
Incredibly, Phineas survived. But he was never the same. Those that knew him recognized the personality change that had taken place. Their once kind and thoughtful friend was now crude and irresponsible.
Frontal lobe injuries can cause personality changes, among other symptoms and side effects.
Since our knowledge of the brain is constantly growing and there’s much more to learn, we can’t always predict the consequences of frontal lobe damage. What science has managed to confirm is that the damage to this lobe can cause the following:
- Language and speech problems – If the frontal lobe suffers damages, problems with speech coherence and language might occur.
- Changes in personality – These are induced by frontal lobe injury can be dramatic.
- Lack of focus and reduced ability to plan – Someone with frontal lobe damage may find it difficult to plan and organize their time. This sort of injury can also distort one’s focus, resulting in attention-related disorders, such as ADHD.
Can You Live Without Your Frontal Lobe?
In theory, it is possible to for you to live without a frontal lobe. But since many important brain centers are located in the frontal lobe, living without them wouldn’t be a pleasant experience.
For example, since certain motor functions are controlled by the frontal lobe, removal of this part of our brain would make us unable to move. We would suffer from paralysis, even though our senses would remain intact.
Jim Kwik, the author of our Superbrain program, believes that our brain is a muscle as well. Which means we can eventually circumvent and defeat every injury of this muscle.
Studies also agree that we can heal damage to the frontal lobe. In fact, with the help of counseling, medication, and therapy, we have the potential to completely rehabilitate our brains.
Recovery isn’t always a straightforward or linear process, but with help, care, and willpower, it is achievable.
What fact about the frontal lobe was the most memorable for you? Share with us in the comments below!