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Frontal lobe

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Brain: Frontal lobe
Lobes of the brain NL.svg
Frontal lobe is blue, parietal lobe yellow and temporal lobe green.

IsPartOf = Cerebrum

Gray's subject #189 821
Acronym(s) FL
MeSH Frontal+Lobe
NeuroLex ID birnlex_928

The frontal lobe is an area in the brain of humans and other mammals, at the front of each cerebral hemisphere. It is in front of the parietal lobe and above and in front of the temporal lobes.

It is separated from the parietal lobe by a space between tissues called the central sulcus, and from the temporal lobe by a deep fold called the lateral (Sylvian) sulcus. The precentral gyrus, forming the back of the frontal lobe, contains the primary motor cortex, which controls voluntary movements of specific body parts.

The frontal lobes takes action based on sensory information (sight, sound, touch) from the three rear areas of the cerebrum, moderated by the influence of the pre-frontal cortex. The system is a delicate balance between the need to satisfy urges from the most ancient parts of the brain, such as hunger, self-defence, with the need to act in a way which is socially acceptable.


For many years, many scientists thought that the frontal lobe was comparatively larger in humans compared to other primates. They thought that this was an important feature of human evolution and was the primary reason why human cognition is different from that of the other primates. However, this view has been challenged by later research. Using magnetic resonance imaging to determine the volume of the frontal cortex in humans, all living ape species and several monkey species, Semendeferi et al. found that the human frontal cortex was not relatively larger than the cortex in the other great apes but was relatively larger than the frontal cortex in the lesser apes and the monkeys.[1]


  1. K. Semendeferi, A. Lu, S.K. GoVredi, N. Schenker, and H. Damasio (2002). "Humans and great apes share a large frontal cortex". Nature Neuroscience 5 (3): 272–276. doi:10.1038/nn814 . PMID 11850633 .