Temporal lobes


 File:Cerebrum - temporal lobe - animation.gifFile:Temporal lobe animation.gif

The temporal lobes are located behind the ears and do the processing of auditory information (that which is heard).



  • Hearing ability
  • Memory acquisition
  • Some visual perceptions
  • Categorization of objects


Damage may affect

  • Difficulty in recognizing faces (Prosopagnosia)
  • Difficulty in understanding spoken words (Wernicke's Aphasia)
  • Disturbance with selective attention to what we see and hear
  • Difficulty with identification of, and verbalization about objects
  • Short-term memory loss. Interference with long-term memory Increased or decreased interest in sexual behavior
  • Inability to catagorize objects (Categorization)
  • Right lobe damage can cause persistent talking
  • Increased aggressive behavior


Scientists have identified eight symptoms of temporal lobe damage that may occur:

1) disturbance of auditory sensation and perception,

2) disturbance of selective attention of auditory and visual input,

3) disorders of visual perception,

4) impaired organization and categorization of verbal material,

5) disturbance of language comprehension,

6) impaired long-term memory,

7) changed personality and changed affective behavior,

8) changed sexual behavior.

Selective attention to visual or auditory input is common with damage to the temporal lobes. Left side lesions result in decreased recall of verbal and visual content, including speech perception. Right side lesions result in decreased recognition of tonal sequences and many musical abilities. Right side lesions can also affect recognition of visual content (e.g. recall of faces).

The temporal lobes are involved in the primary organization of sensory input. Individuals with temporal lobes lesions have difficulty placing words or pictures into categories.

Language can be affected by temporal lobe damage. Left temporal lesions disturb recognition of words. Right temporal damage can cause a loss of inhibition of talking.

See also the website of the Centre for Neuroskills