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  • Writer's pictureDallas Shepard

The Brain and its Functions

Our Brains have over 100 Billion connections

With over 100 billion connections controlling the most intricate organ (our brain) in the body (and the universe) this is just a brief description of the parts of the brain and its functions. The biggest take away from this article is that the brain has different functional areas and if the electrical communication is impaired, typically there is dysfunction. We use neurofeedback which helps the efficiency of the brain and how it communicates between its different areas. We have found that LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback System) just happens to be the most affordable, effective and efficient neurofeedback system on the market when neuroscience is practically applied.

Most neurofeedback systems us 21 areas on parts of the brain with each functional area being derived from the 10-20 measuring system. Each of our areas are located on the surface of the brain (the cortex); however, the cortex is connected to all the inner parts of the brain such as the amygdala (emotional regulation). This is a just a brief description of parts of the brain and its functions, but if you are interested “The Human Brain Book” by Rita Carter is an excellent resource.

Frontal Lobes

Sites: FP1 FPZ FP2 FZ F3 F4 F7 F8

Key Functions: attention, memory, social awareness, character, motivation, planning; prefrontal lobes have connections (neuronal networks) leading to the amygdala.


Frontal lobes are responsible for immediate and sustained attention, social skills, emotions, empathy, time management, working memory, moral fiber or character, executive planning and initiative. They identify problems and may send them to other brain regions for a solution.

Parietal Lobes

Sites: PZ P3 P4

Key functions: math, naming objects, complex grammar spatial awareness

Parietal lobes solve problems that have been conceptualized by the frontal lobes. They have been labeled the

association cortex. Complex grammar, the naming of objects, sentence construction, and mathematical processing are traceable to the left parietal lobe. It should be noted that some forms of math involve spatial processing (geometry) and so the right parietal lobe is also suspect. Math calculation begins with the working memory (near F7), whereas problem solving engages the parietal lobes. If times tables are not memorized and attention is poor, the parietal lobes may not be fully engaged in the problem. Map orientation, knowing the difference between right and left, and spatial recognition are all functions of the right parietal lobe.

Temporal Lobes

Sites: T3 T4 T5 T6

Key Functions: Left side verbal memories, word recognition, reading, language, emotion. Right side – music, facial recognition social cues, object recognition, proximity to the amygdala (emotion) and hippocampus (memory).

Luria (1973) indicated that lesions to the left mid-temporal zone interfere with verbal memory making. Damage to this zone prevents the storage of longer passages of information, although short phrases may be retained. Consequently, it becomes difficult to keep up with a conversation because information is being lost. Lesions to the right temporal lobe often result in the inability to recognize intricate rhythmic melodies. Music appreciation may be lost (1973, pp 135-143).

The temporal lobe houses the auditory cortex in close proximity to the hippocampus. Consequently, it is critical to the memory-making process, especially verbal memories.

Occipital Lobes

Sites: OZ O1 O2

Key functions: visual field: helps to locate objects in the environment, see colors and recognize drawings and correctly identify objects, reading, writing and spelling depend upon an accurate visual field, some connections extend to the amygdala. Oz also controls incontinence.

Sensory and Motor (sensorimotor) Cortex

Sites: C3 C4 Cz

Note: The sensory and motor cortices run parallel to each other and are divided by the central sulcus. The two cortices combined are sometimes called the sensorimotor cortex. However, the sensory cortex alone may also be called the primary somatosensory cortex or just the somatosensory cortex. The primary cortex may be called just the motor cortex.

Key functions of the primary motor cortex: conscious control of all skeletal muscle movements.

Key functions of the primary somatosensory cortex: spatial discrimination and the ability to identify where bodily sensations originate.

The somatosensory system is responsible for both the external senses of touch, temperature, pain and the internal senses of joint position, visceral state, and pain (Damasio, 1994, p65). Damage to the RH portion of the somatosensory cortex compromises reasoning, decision making and emotion/feeling and in addition, disrupts the process of basic body signaling. (p70).


The functions of the primary motor cortex have been associated with skillful movements and smooth repetitive operations such as typing, playing musical instruments, handwriting, the operation of complex machinery and fluid speaking. It is the hub and switching station between voluntary muscles of the body and the brain. The motor cortex helps the cerebral cortex to encode both physical and cognitive tasks. The brain circuits used to order, sequence, and time a mental act are the same ones used to order, sequence and time a physical act.

Information taken from “Getting Started with Neurofeedback” John N. Demos MA, LCMHC, BCIA-EEG 2005 (pages 39-48)

We hope this helps you understand the different parts of the brain and its functional areas. LENS neurofeedback has proven that it can help regulate the electrical activity in the brain to improve function in all parts of the brain. If you would like more information please click www.Ochslabs.com.

At the Harmonized Brain Centers we strive to apply the best neuroscience has to offer so clients can have their brain function efficiently, effectively and at an optimal level.

We believe a Harmonized Brain Equals a Harmonized Life.

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