What Are the Association Areas of the Brain?

Three major association areas of the brain include limbic, posterior and the anterior association areas, according to the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Association areas link sensory input areas of the brain with motor output portions of the central nervous system.

The limbic association area is in the temporal lobe, and this part of the brain is essential for learning and memory function. The limbic association area deals with emotional inputs and most sensory information, notes UTH. The posterior association area is found at the intersection of the occipital, temporal and parietal lobes. This area is important to perception and language. The anterior association area is in the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain links data from other association areas and helps the brain process memories, higher-order concepts and planning.

For example, the limbic association area takes into account an emotional response with regards to a survival mechanism. This part of the brain remembers the relief someone feels when a person finds food after being very hungry. The emotions felt during the situation help the person remember where and how to find that particular food in the future. An emotional escape from danger helps a human learn what predators to avoid and where those predators live. The limbic association area is necessary for all animals to survive, according to UTH.