Temporal lobe


The temporal lobes are one of the four main lobes or regions found in the cerebral cortex . They are found in the largest division of the brain known as the forebrain . As with the other three cerebral lobes, frontal, occipital and parietal, there is a temporal lobe that is located in each cerebral hemisphere . The temporal lobes play a very important role in the organization of sensory stimuli , auditory perception , language and speech production , as well as in the association and formation of memory .


What is the temporal lobe?

It is the region located in one of the lobes of the brain that is essential to perform basic body skills such as speech and auditory perception, although it is also related to affectivity , memory and recognition .


Structures of the limbic system , which include the olfactory cortex , amygdala, and hippocampus are found within the temporal lobes. Damage to this area of ​​the brain can cause problems with memory, understanding language, and maintaining emotional control.

  • Characteristics of the temporal lobe
  • Location of the temporal lobe
  • Structure
  • Features
  • Temporal lobe injuries and diseases

Characteristics of the temporal lobe

The main characteristics of the temporal lobe are as follows:

  • It is related to hearing , taste , hearing , language and understanding .
  • It has a very important role in people’s vision , memory and emotions .
  • It is located under Silvio’s fissure , in front of the occipital lobe .
  • The limbic system structures of the temporal lobe are responsible for regulating many of our emotions, as well as for forming and processing memories .
  • It regulates our fight or flight response , and it also helps us develop a healthy sense of fear through fear conditioning .
  • Also, the olfactory cortex is located in the temporal lobe.

Location of the temporal lobe

Directionally, the temporal lobes are in a position anterior to the occipital lobes and inferior to the frontal lobes and parietal lobes , approximately behind each of the temples of our head. A large deep groove known as the Silvio Fissure is responsible for separating the parietal and temporal lobes.

In other words, it is located in the lower lateral part of the brain , in the region of the skull that is closest to the ears.


Each of the structures that make up the temporal lobe is characterized by carrying out certain brain activities, let’s see what they are:

  • Auditory Cortex : Here are the primary, secondary, and associative auditory cortices . It is responsible for perceiving sounds, encoding, decoding and interpreting information.
  • Wernicke’s area : allows the auditory decoding of language leading to verbal comprehension and communication . Damage in this area causes problems in the ability to select or recognize auditory elements.
  • Visual cortex:  participates in object recognition and categorizes visual stimuli . Its damage causes difficulty in the identification and / or categorization of visual stimuli, which affects the memory process.
  • Medial temporal lobe : includes structures such as the hippocampus, the perirenal cortex, the entorhinal cortex, or the parahippocampal cortex. It allows the development of memory in people. It is one of the most affected regions in people with dementia and / or neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Angular turn : allows reading-writing , since it participates in the association of visual and auditory information. Assign each grapheme its corresponding phoneme .
  • Supramarginal gyrus : it is part of the tertiary sensory area, which is located in the temporal lobe. Participate in tactile and language recognition .
  • Medial temporal:  participates in memory and recognition , processes information and passes memory from short term to long term.
  • Parieto-temporo-occipital association area : integrates visual , auditory and somatic perception .


The temporal lobe is responsible for processing the auditory information through the ears. In the person responsible for receiving the information and processing it in addition to collecting the information that we obtain through smell . It takes care of all the sensory stimuli that the human body receives.

Wernicke’s area provides us with the ability to recognize language and to be able to interpret the words we hear.

The ability of children to understand the language before I speak is the responsibility of the temporal lobe, also have an important role in memory to long term .

Temporal lobe injuries and diseases

Some of the temporal lobe injuries are:

  • Cortical deafness : total hearing loss occurs , although the sensory organs function properly. The auditory information does not get to be processed by the brain and is produced by the destruction of the primary and secondary auditory cortices .
  • Hemiacusia : there is a destruction of primary and secondary auditory cortex and completely lost the hearing of the ear opposite to the hemisphere in which the injury has occurred.
  • Prosopagnosia : faces cannot be recognized , so recognition of people has to be done in other ways.
  • Aphasias :  language disorders due to brain injury. The effects vary depending on the location of the injury. One of the most common is Wernicke’s aphasia in which there is loss or difficulty in verbal comprehension and repetition.
  • Epilepsy : it can start at any age and its cause is unknown .
  • Klüver-Bucy syndrome:  it occurs frequently in Alzheimer’s . The patient presents passivity, hyperorality, they are never afraid and hypersexual.

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