Affects of Frontal Lobe Damage

Topics: Frontal lobe, Cerebrum, Prefrontal cortex Pages: 8 (2609 words) Published: June 6, 2005
Damage to the frontal lobe cortex of the brain can cause difficulty in everyday activities. The frontal lobes role in people's behavior includes executive processes, language, emotional expression and movement. Ryan Godfrey has difficulties in some areas of executive processes due to the damage tumors caused in his brain. Ryan and others with frontal lobe damage can benefit from knowing these deficits by taking steps to reduce their impact. The brain tends to compensate for damaged parts and a faith in God brings power to overcome deficits. Thus, behavioral difficulties for frontal lobe damaged patients are only a guideline not a box, for nothing is impossible for God to accomplish.

A 23-year-old man, named Ryan Godfrey was observed in his everyday behaviors to understand how he deals with frontal lobe damage. When he was 7 years, old the doctors discovered a grapefruit size benign meningioma tumor in his brain. After this, he had six more surgeries and his last one left him paralyzed on his left side. This was because most of his tumors were found in the right hemisphere, prefrontal cortex with his last surgery towards the premotor and motor cortex causing his paralysis. Ryan overcame being paralyzed with a desire to play basketball and video games. Today he is running sound for church, working full time and helping with student ministries. People like him can benefit from understanding the brain and its functions.

The frontal lobe comprises a third of the brain and it enables us to engage in higher cognitive functions such as planning and problem solving (Jonides & Smith, 1999). The frontal lobe is divided into 3 regions, the motor cortex, premotor cortex, and prefrontal cortex. The motor cortex is located in the precentral gyrus and directs fine motor coordination. The premotor cortex is involved in planning, organizing, and integrating body movements. The prefrontal is involved in executive functions, including short-term memory, working memory, decision making, and prioritizing behaviors (Wilson, 2003). Some of the frontal lobe disorders than can cause brain damage and behavioral changes are Huntington's disease, infection, stroke, tourettes, dementia, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, tumors, closed head injury and traumatic brain injury (Chow, 2000).

People with frontal lobe damage have a hard time distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information. They will often attend to what they perceive to be relevant information and ignore irrelevant. For example, Ryan opened up only the mail that seemed relevant at the time and put others aside. However, the mail put aside was forgotten about. His mom about 5 months later discovered the unopened mail was very important and some needed an asap response. Thus, Ryan does seem to have some sort of difficulty than others with understand what is relevant, and remembering to get back to things. There has also been research conducted on the frontal lobes function in processing relevant and irrelevant information.

Humphreys and Kumada's research results were that people with frontal lobe damage showed difficulty in selecting task-relevant information while ignoring task-irrelevant (Humphreys & Kumada, 2002). Sometimes these people tend to get confused on what is important and what are not, as most people occasionally do. Some frontal lobe damage people struggle more with relevant information than others do. "Frontal lobe lesions only appear to affect the ability to gate or inhibit irrelevant stimulus information" (Gershberg, Jurica, Mangels, & Shimamura, 1995, p145). Research is usually just a bunch of theories, or experiments that have not been proven wrong yet. The tendency for frontal damage is that a part of the brain has been damaged or removed that helps with these functions.

Attention to certain information tends to be a main deficit for people with frontal lobe damage. Divided attention relies more on right frontal activation, whereas focused attention, the...

References: Bernicot, J. & Dardier, V. (2001). Communication deficits: assessment of subjects with frontal lobe damage in an interview setting. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 245-263.
Chayer, C. & Freedman, M. (2001). Frontal lobe functions. Current Neurology & Neuroscience Reports, 547-552.
Chow, T. (2000). Personality in frontal lobe disorders. Current Psychiatry Reports, 446- 451.
Gershberg, F., Jurica, P., Mangels, J., & Shimamura, A. (1995). Susceptibility to memory interference effects following frontal lobe damage: findings from tests of paired- associate learning. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 144-152.
Humphreys, G. & Kumada, T. (2002). Early selection induced by perceptual load in a patient with frontal lobe damage: external vs. internal modulation of processing control. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 49-65.
Jonides, J. & Smith, E. (1999, March 12). Storage and executive processes in the frontal lobes. Science, 1657-1663.
Lepage, M. & Richer, F. (2000). Frontal brain lesions affect the use of advance information during response planning. Behavioral Neuroscience, 1034-1040.
Levine, B. & Stuss, D. (2002). Adult clinical neuropsychology: lessons from studies of the frontal lobes. Annual Reviews Psychology, 401-433.
Wilson, J. (2003). Biological foundations of human behavior. Belmont: Thomason Learning Publishers.
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