What Is the Function of the Longitudinal Fissure?

function-longitudinal-fissure Credit: Kaushik Narasimhan/CC-BY 2.0

The longitudinal fissure is the crease that separates the right and left cerebral hemispheres. The longitudinal fissure is sometimes referred to as the inter-hemispheric fissure as well.

The fissure does not completely divide the left and right hemispheres of the cerebrum. There is a band of white matter called the corpus callosum that connects the right and left hemispheres and is also how they communicate. Each side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body: the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, and the right controls the left. If there is damage or a tumor on the left hemisphere, a person's right arm and leg may be weakened or paralyzed. The left and right hemispheres do not share all functions however. The right hemisphere is responsible for creativity, artistic and musical skills and spatial ability. Comprehension, speech, arithmetic and writing are functions controlled by the left hemisphere.

There are also fissures that divide the brain into separate lobes. Each hemisphere has four lobes, which are the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes. Each lobe is divided and has its own specific functions.

The functions of the frontal lobe include personality, behavior, emotions, judgment, planning and problem solving, speech, writing, motor functions, intelligence, concentration and self-awareness. The parietal lobe controls senses of touch, pain and temperature, as well as interprets language and words as well as signals from vision, hearing, motor, sensory and memory. It is also responsible for spatial and visual perception. The occipital lobe interprets vision such as color, light and movement. The temporal lobe is responsible for memory, hearing, sequencing and organizing, and understanding language.