Different areas of the brain are responsible for specific functions. Damage to the brain can result in different types and severity of deficits from one individual to another. The behaviours that emerge after an ABI are unique to each individual.

Area of the Brain Function Observed Problems When Injury Occurs in this Region
Frontal LobesThe frontal lobes of the brain are very vulnerable to injury 




Primarily responsible for putting things in order and sorting things out.The “executive functions” of the brain are controlled by the frontal lobes.

  • Initiation (starting a task)
  • Problem solving
  • Judgment
  • Inhibition of behaviour
  • Planning
  • Emotional responses
  • Awareness of abilities/limitations
  • Concentration and attention
  • Abstract thinking
  • Foresight
  • Speech
  • Gross and fine motor planning.
  • Loss of simple movement of various body parts
  • Inability to plan a sequence of multi stepped tasks
  • Loss of spontaneous interactions with peers
  • Loss of flexibility in thinking
  • Persistence of a single thought (perseveration)
  • Inability to focus on task
  • Mood changes
  • Changes in social behavior
  • Changes in personality
  • Difficulty with problem solving
  • Inability to express language
  • Inability to perceive emotions or feelings in other


Parietal Lobes  



Primarily responsible for the sense of touch and the ability to have a sense of body position.

  • Sense of hot/cold
  • Sense of hard/soft
  • Self-perception
  • Visual attention
  • Manipulation of objects
  • Constructional ability
  • Words and thought formation (left parietal lobe)
  • Understanding of the spatial nature of the world such as recognizing faces and shapes and knowing directions (right parietal lobe)
  • Inability to attend to more than one thing at a time
  • Inability to name an object
  • Inability to locate words for writing
  • Problems with reading
  • Difficulty with drawing objects
  • Difficulty distinguishing left from right
  • Difficulty doing mathematics
  • Lack of awareness of certain body parts or surrounding space
  • Inability to focus visual attention
  • Difficulty with eye and hand coordination
Temporal Lobes 





Primarily responsible for the auditory reception (hearing) and some processing of visual information.

  • Sound recognition
  • Sound discrimination
  • Sound comprehension
  • Voice recognition
  • Auditory and visual memory storage
  • Emotional control
  • Difficulty recognizing faces
  • Difficulty understanding spoken words
  • Disturbances with selective attention to what we see and hear
  • Difficulty identifying and naming/describing objects
  • Short term memory loss
  • Interferences with long term memory
  • Increased or decreased interest in sexual behavior
  • Inability to categorize objects
  • Increased aggressive behavior
  • Right lobe damage can cause persistent talking
  • ·Expression of intense emotions(e.g. intense anger at the slightest provocation)
Occipital Lobes(www.neuroskills.com) Responsible for visual reception.

  • Recognition of objects
  • Visual scanning
  • Effectively integrate symbols
  • Recall of visual images
  • Visual field impairments
  • Difficulty with locating objects in the environment
  • Difficulty with identifying colours
  • Production of visual hallucinations
  • Word blindness – inability to recognize words
  • Difficulty in recognizing drawn objects




Primarily responsible for regulation of balance, breathing and posture.

  • Coordination of voluntary movement
  • Balance and equilibrium
  • Some memory for reflex motor actions
  • Loss of ability to coordinate fine movements
  • Loss of ability to walk
  • Inability to reach out and grab objects
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Inability to make rapid movements





Effective Behavioural Strategies for Children and Youth with Acquired Brain Injury, Simcoe York Children With ABI Committee

©Brain Injury Services of Simcoe County, Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario 2006

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