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Temporal Lobe: Definition & Functions

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  • 0:02 What Is the Temporal Lobe?
  • 0:23 Functions
  • 2:07 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 divided into several lobes. Each lobe is characterized by the specific functions it does as well as its location and boundaries. In this lesson, you will learn about the temporal lobe and its functions.

What Is the Temporal Lobe?

The brain is divided into distinctive lobes. The temporal lobe is located behind your ears and extends to both sides of the brain. The temporal lobe is involved in vision, memory, sensory input, language, emotion, and comprehension.

This image shows the temporal lobe of the brain highlighted in green:

Temporal Lobe
An image of the brain.

Functions of the Temporal Lobe

The lobes of the brain are responsible for specific functions of the body. This is also true of the temporal lobe and its parts.

Memory

One notable part of the temporal lobe is known as the hippocampus. The hippocampus is located in the center of the temporal lobe and plays a major role in short-term memory, long-term memory, and spatial navigation, such as visualizing your surroundings. Scientists and doctors often focus on the temporal lobe when dealing with individuals who are suffering from Alzheimer's and other illnesses that affect memory.

The hippocampus is responsible for memory and is located in the center of the temporal lobe.

Hearing and Vision

The temporal lobe also processes and manages a lot of our sensory information. This includes aspects of both hearing and vision. The temporal lobe is home to an area located directly behind the ears that is known as the primary auditory cortex. This area of the brain receives sound information from the ears and processes the sound into meaning. The frontal area of the temporal lobe that is located closer to the face plays a role in vision. This area is able to process faces and scenes and interpret them into meaningful information that can be used by the brain.

Speech

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