Temporal lobe

The temporal lobe folds under each half of the brain on both sides, below the frontal and parietal lobe.

The temporal lobe houses our ability to receive and interpret auditory information from the ear, as well as collect and interpret information from the nose. It is the primary area of the brain that deals with sensory input.

An important area in the temporal lobe, the Wernicke area, gives us the ability to recognize speech and interpret the meaning of words. Damage to this area, whether from trauma or a stroke, can lead to difficulty understanding speech and difficulty saying things that make sense.

This area is highly important to language as we begin to hear language long before we can speak it. Studies have shown that children begin understanding the language they are hearing years before they can speak it, which is due to the functioning of the temporal lobe.

The temporal lobe is also believed to be part of long-term memory, such as remembering autobiographical information, such as dates, places, etc. Damage to this area can also cause anterograde amnesia, or the inability to create new memories.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Temporal lobe

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