Brain Regions and Functions
While different areas of the brain have their own very specialized functions, it is important to remember that they are all connected by a vast neural network, in constant communication with each other and working together to direct the conscious and unconscious activities of our daily lives. A large part of brain growth and development occurring in adolescence is the making and strengthening of neural connections and pathways between brain regions.
There are six regions of the brain: the brain stem, cerebellum, occipital lobe, parietal lobe, frontal lobe and the temporal lobe. Each region of the brain is responsible for different functions. The brain stem is responsible for basic arousal and consciousness, while the cerebellum is involved in the coordination of voluntary motor movement, balance and equilibrium and muscle tone. The occipital lobe is the center of the visual perception system. The parietal lobe has two functions, 1) sensing and perceiving and 2) integrating sensory input, primarily with the visual system. The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgment, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. It is important to understand that the brain functions as a whole by interrelating all of these regions and during adolescence the frontal lobe still maturing.1