The Mayo Clinic refers to the brain as the most complex organ in the human body. It controls all areas of functioning, including thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger, and every process that regulates our body. According to Medical News Today, “An average adult brain weighs 3 pounds and is composed of 60% fat, with water, protein, carbohydrates, and salt accounting for the other 40%.” The brain is divided into two hemispheres which are called the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere. Each hemisphere has four sections called lobes which are in specific areas of the brain and are each associated with a set of functions:
- Frontal lobe: located in the front of the head is the largest lobe of the brain. This area of the brain is important for cognitive functions, personality characteristics, decision-making, and control of voluntary movement or activity. Recognition of smell usually involves parts of the frontal lobe, and it contains Broca’s area, which is associated with speech ability.
- Parietal lobe: located in the middle part of the brain processes information about temperature, taste, and movement, and is also involved in interpreting pain and touch in the body. It is the area of the brain that helps a person identify objects and understand spatial relationships (where one’s body is compared with objects around the person). Wernicke’s area which helps the brain understand spoken language is in the parietal lobe.
- Temporal lobe: located in the sides of the brain are involved in short-term memory, speech, musical rhythm, and some degree of smell recognition. This area of the brain helps to process memories, integrating them with sensations of taste, sound, sight, and touch.
- Occipital lobe: located in the back part of the brain and is primarily responsible for vision.
The American Psychological Association explains that “personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.” As is indicated above, the area of the brain that largely governs personality is the frontal lobe. However, recent studies suggest that personality traits can be linked to differences in the thickness and volume of various parts of the brain.
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If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
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