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Parietal Lobe: Definition & Functions

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  • 0:00 What is the Parietal Lobe?
  • 0:41 Functions of the Parietal Lobe
  • 1:59 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derrick Arrington

Derrick has taught biology and chemistry at both the high school and college level. He has a master's degree in science education.

The brain is composed of many parts and several lobes. In this lesson, you will learn about the structure and function of the parietal lobe of the human brain.

What is the Parietal Lobe?

The brain is divided into several lobes. These lobes are anatomical regions that are marked by specific boundary points and are associated with certain processes that they influence or completely control. The parietal lobe is located above the occipital lobe of the brain and behind the frontal lobe. The lobe is named for the parietal bone that sits directly over the region as part of the skull. The parietal lobe is known to interpret sensory information, such as letting you know the location of parts of your body and aiding in physical navigation. For example, your parietal lobe automatically tells you where your tongue is as you chew to keep you from biting it.

Functions of the Parietal Lobe

The parietal lobe functions in processing sensory information from the various parts of the body. It is heavily related to the sense of touch and involved in the manipulation of objects, as well as in detecting the orientation and numbers of objects encountered. A significant portion of the parietal lobe is believed to function in visuospatial processing, such as self-awareness of the location of one's body parts. This allows you to walk around without stubbing your toe on all types of objects because you are unconsciously aware of the location of your toes and feet as you walk.

The posterior side of the parietal lobe processes visual input and works to coordinate hand and eye movement. The parietal lobe is divided into two hemispheres. They are known as the left and right hemispheres. The left hemisphere is heavily involved in the processing of language and mathematics, while the right hemisphere has been shown to work with image detection and spatial understanding, such as the ability to read and interpret a map.

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