Medicine

Occipital lobe

The occipital lobe is important to human body because it helps us understand correctly what the eyes are seeing. These lobes have to be very fast to be able to process all the information in a fast way that sends our eyes to the brain. Just as the temporal lobe makes sense of auditory information, the occipital lobe makes sense of visual information so that, we can understand it. If our occipital lobe is damaged or injured, we would not be able to correctly process the visual signals, resulting in visual confusion.

What is the occipital lobe?

The occipital lobe is one of the smaller lobes located at the back of the brain, between the cerebellum, temporal lobe, and parietal. Each person has two of them symmetrically separated by a fissure.

Characteristics of the occipital lobe

The main characteristics of the occipital lobe are:

Location

The two occipital lobes are located in the human cerebral cortex and are the smallest. They are located at the back of our skull, while the occipital lobes are also part of the anterior brain.

The occipital lobes are supported by the cerebellum. The two lobes are structurally enclosed in their respective cerebral hemispheres by the separation of the cerebral fissure. At the frontal edge we can find different occipital lateral circumvolutions, which are separated by means of the lateral occipital furrow.

Areas

The areas we can find in the occipital lobe are the following:

Functions

The occipital lobe is related to the visual cortex, which is the area of the cerebral cortex where information coming from the retinas arrives first. This visual cortex is divided into several regions which are classified depending on the processing level.

The visual cortex is the part of the occipital lobe that is in charge of processing all the visual data, so to say, originals, and it is the one that is in charge of detecting the general patterns that can be found within the information that is obtained through our eyes. These original data of what is seen are sent to other parts of the occipital lobe, parts that have the function of making a more detailed processing of the vision and then, send the information that has already been analyzed to other areas of the brain.

It also intervenes in the evaluation of the different distances and the depth of things. It also helps to codify memories, to give them meaning, to elaborate linguistic answers and the correct way to give answers to the information that surrounds us.

Injuries and diseases of the occipital lobe

Some of the most common diseases of the occipital lobe include the following:

Injuries that occur in the right occipital lobe result in a loss of vision in both eyes and decreased discrimination of movements.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.
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