What Is the Function of the Brain’s Frontal Lobe?

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The function of the brain’s frontal lobe includes movement, decision making, problem solving, planning, impulse control, memory and high order functions. The brain’s frontal lobe is one of the four main lobes of the cerebral cortex; they are situated at the front part of the cerebral cortex.

The frontal lobes are divided into three parts: the prefrontal cortex, the premotor cortex and the motor cortex. The prefrontal cortex is involved in planning, personality expression, complex cognitive behavior decision making and moderating social behavior. It is mainly involved in thoughts and actions needed to achieve personal goals.

Damage to the prefrontal cortex influences a person’s ability to solve problems, and may trigger depression and learning disabilities, which can also result in inappropriate social behavior.

The premotor and the motor cortex are involved in the planning, control and execution of voluntary movements. The premotor part of the brain also mediates personality expression. Damage to the premotor cortex leads to spasticity, increased deep tendon reflexes and inability to translate an idea into movement.

Generally, damage to the frontal lobes leads to loss of memory, attention deficit, poor judgment and lack of drive. Frontal lobe dysfunction may be caused by the severity of an illness, such as brain tumor, mental retardation, cerebro-vascular disorder and neurodegenerative disease.