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Brain lobes were originally a purely anatomical classification, but have been shown also to be related to different brain functions. The telencephalon, the largest portion of the human brain, is divided into lobes, but so is the cerebellum. If not specified, the expression "lobes of the brain" refers to the telencephalon.
There are four uncontested lobes of the telencephalon (see individual articles for more information):
- Frontal lobe—conscious thought; damage can result in mood changes
- Parietal lobe—plays important roles in integrating sensory information from various senses, and in the manipulation of objects; portions of the parietal lobe are involved with visuospatial processing
- Occipital lobe—sense of sight; lesions can produce hallucinations
- Temporal lobe—senses of smell and sound, as well as processing of complex stimuli like faces and scenes.
- The insula is a portion of cortex in between and covered by the temporal and parietal lobes. Many sources consider it a separate lobe, and some group it with limbic structures deep in the brain into a limbic lobe.
- Cerebellum—links sensory input with motion; this is especially involved with maintaining balance. The cerebellum may be divided into the anterior, posterior and flocculonodular lobes. Sometimes the cerebellum is given as a "lobe of the brain" in non-technical literature, but this is inaccurate.
Each of the four or five lobes of the telencephalon is divided in half making the left and right cerebral hemispheres. The two hemispheres are connected with matter called the corpus callosum which allows the two lobes to communicate information to each other. It is the left hemisphere which receives and sends information to the right side of the body, and the right hemisphere which deals with the left side of the body.