Frontal Lobe

Table of Contents:

  • Background Information
  • How can the functions of the frontal lobe relate to the lives of college students
  • Motivation for choosing the functions of the frontal lobe
  • How the functions of the frontal lobe relates to Psychology
  • Psychosurgery
  • Memory and problem solving
  • Recognizing good and bad situations
  • Determining future consequences
  • Results of damage to the frontal lobe
  • Demonstration
  • Conclusionbrain.gif

Background Information:

The frontal lobe is an area of the brain found in mammals, that is located in the front of the cerebral hemisphere. The frontal lobe contains most of the dopamine-sensitive neurons in the cerebral cortex. The dopamine system is associated with reward, attention, short-term memory tasks, planning, and motivation. The frontal lobe is a crucial part in a person's life, and will continue developing into someone's early twenties. As the frontal lobe is associated with the recognizing of future consequences, choosing between good and bad, and relating emotions back to long term memories, this part of the brain is crucial to the lives of college students.

How can the functions of the frontal lobe relate to the lives of college students?

The frontal lobe functions are important to college students for multiple reasons. One of it's functions is the ability to relate long term memories and problem solving. This is helpful for a college student in many ways throughout their academic struggles, planning, organizing, and improving their educational success. Another important function of the frontal lobe includes the ability to recognize a situation and help think of the possible outcomes, along with deciding whether a decision is good or bad. This is beneficial to a college student because they are faced with a new chapter in their lives, and will have to deal with many new and difficult decisions. Another major function of the frontal lobe is motor skills and speech capabilities. For obvious reasons, a college student needs these assets to be at their full potential in order to perform at their highest level in the classroom.

Motivation for choosing functions of the frontal lobe:

I was in an introduction to psychology class in high school, and the history behind this area of the brain, along with its great importance to our every day lives fascinated me. Because the frontal lobes are finishing their development around the beginning of our adulthood, I thought it would be a great piece of psychology that related well to college students. Another important part of the history of frontal lobes is psychosurgery and the details behind it. Because the frontal lobe have crucial functions that contribute to the shaping of our cognitive lives, it can be presented with its relationship to college students.

prefrontal cortex.gif

How the functions of the frontal lobe relates to Psychology: Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the human mind and its functions,especially those affecting behavior in a given context. The frontal lobes relate strongly to psychology, partially because they are a large part of how the brain properly functions, and also because the frontal lobe contributes so strongly to the way a person makes decisions and acts.


In the early 20th century, a medical treatment for mental illness, first developed by Portuguese neurologist Egaz Moniz, involved damaging the pathways connecting the frontal lobes to the the limbic system. Becoming more popular when performed by Walter Freeman (lobotomy), the cutting of the frontal lobe by a sharp tool pushed through the eye socket was believed to limit stress and other unwanted emotions in people. While doing this, the surgery was sometimes fatal, and often resulted in the patient's emotions, personality, and ability to interact properly with people. As its reputation became very poor, the surgery has died out over time.


Memory and problem solving:

As students embrace their college experience, they will quickly realize the importance of certain cognitive aspects. Among those cognitive aspects, good memory and problem solving skills can be recognized as some of the most useful characteristics that a student can have. Not only will these apply in a student's homework and tests, but will also be used in their every day life. A great memory and the ability to relate certain emotions and objects into a learning experience can help improve students testing abilities by a great margin. The frontal lobe is responsible for the ability of a person to use their memory, and also to plan ahead. Along these lines, problem solving can also be linked back to the frontal lobe. All 3 of these traits are vital to the educational side of a college student's life.

Recognizing good and bad situations:

As people go to college, it is often their first experience being out of the house without a parental supervision or guidance from an adult. Because they are at school alone, they are responsible for setting their priorities straight and making decisions that are best for themselves. Along with decision making, the frontal lobe contributes to this aspect of college life by recognizing the difference between a good situation and a bad situation. This may come up in situations involving whether to study for a test or go to bed early, or whether or not to get involved with drugs or alcohol. Because of the frontal lobe's ability to retrieve certain memories and correlate them to making good decisions, this function of the frontal lobe is very important to the life of a college student.

Determining future consequences:

Along the lines of making the right decisions in a college student's life, the frontal lobe is also responsible for determining the future consequences of a situation. Relating back to its memory capabilities, the frontal lobe can help a college student determine what choice will most positively impact their life in the future. Because of the frontal lobe's functions of memory, problem solving, recognizing good situations from bad ones, and determining the consequences of certain actions, it plays a key role in the educational and real world life of a college student.


Results of damage to the frontal lobe:

Damage to the frontal lobe can happen in more ways than one. Often strokes may occur in the frontal lobe, resulting from the blocking of blood into the brain, or the burst of a blood vessel/aneurysm. Another cause for damage to this area would be a traumatic injury that could be caused by sports, car crashes, etc. As a result from these injuries, people may lose some memory or their sense of "real life". Also, after these types of injuries, people have been noted to go into depression, struggle in social situations, and lose their original personality.



Take a group of people and give them each a different social situation, and ask them how they would react to what is going on. After they have told you, explain all of the side effects that may come from a frontal lobe injury. See if they can perform socially in the same manner without the ability to use the functions that the frontal lobe is responsible for. This demonstration would be a good example to show how important each and every function of the frontal lobe is, and how much the loss of them can impact a person's life.

Video detailing functions of frontal lobe


After learning about all of the functions of the frontal lobe, and reviewing all of the relationships and impacts that it has on college students, it is clear that there are numerous reasons why the frontal lobe is crucial to their success. Surgery, theories, and medications have been placed on the frontal lobe to learn more about it, and help improve our way of life. In the future, there should be tests and research done to improve a person's ability the use all of the functions correctly, and find out how a person can get their full potential out of it. Also, safety issues should be addressed in order to help preserve the frontal lobe and keep it safe from disease and trauma. The topic of the frontal lobe's functions is not only extremely significant to college students, but also to everyone. The usage of memory, problem solving, planning, motor skills, determining good and bad decisions, and many more of its functions will help guide people toward successful lives. In the classroom and throughout a student's four years of college, the frontal lobe will be used daily for many purposes in their lives.