Temporal Lobes: areas on each "hemisphere" of the "cerebral cortex" near the temples that are the primary receiving ares for "auditory information." (Hockenbury, 66) Located at the side of the brain. Part of the cerebral cortex lying below the “lateral fissure”, beneath the ‘temporal bone’ at the side of the skull. (Kolb, 6) Right behind the ears. Sit behind the “frontal lobe” and underneath the “parietal lobe.” (Stafford, 15)

Specialized for higher perceptual functions, such as recognizing faces and other objects and linking them to appropriate "emotions." They do this in close cooperation with the “amygdala,” which lies in the front ‘poles’ of the temporal lobes. Process auditory input from the ears. Have important linguistic and emotional functions, and participate in high-level vision. (Blakeslee, 10) Also tucked away beneath each temporal lobe is the "hippocampus." (RamachandranTTB, 19) Concerned with recognizing and naming individual objects and responding to them with the appropriate emotions. (Ramachandran, 114) Involved in the higher processing of visual function. Involved in the laying down of “memories.” Involved in the processing of information about sounds and in the conversion of information about sounds into linguistic representation and into the programs that allow us to speak and understand. (Rose, Episode 1 Anthony Movshon) Editor’s note - functional structures include the “primary auditory cortex,” and the “secondary auditory cortex.”


Fusiform Gyrus: located between the “occipitotemporal sulcus” and the “collateral sulcus.” In addition to being part of the temporal lobe, it is also a part of the occipital lobe. (Fisch, 282) A particularly broad gyrus that extends into the occipital lobe. (Fisch, 284) Also referred to as the ‘fusiform cortex’ and ‘occipitotemporal gyrus.’

Lateral Occipitotemporal Gyrus: anterior portion of the fusiform gyrus. (Fisch, 282)

Medial Occipitotemporal Gyrus: posterior portion of the fusiform gyrus. (Fisch, 282)

Inferior Temporal Gyrus: separated from the fusiform gyrus by the inferior temporal sulcus. (Blumenfeld, 25)

Left Temporal Lobe: involved in processing and understanding ‘object words’ (nouns) and storing their meaning. (Goldberg, 26) This takes place near the “visual cortex,” which makes sense since mental representations of objects are based mostly on vision. ‘Action’ words (verbs) are also processed and stored here. This takes place near the “motor cortex” because mental representations of skilled movements involve the motor cortex. (Goldberg,  29) Area also involved in the ability to recognize a specific sound (such as a dog growling) as opposed to any other sound in your immediate environment. Damage to this area can result an often overlooked condition referred to as “auditory associative agnosia” (Goldberg, 30)

Middle Temporal Gyrus: lies between the superior temporal gyrus and the inferior temporal gyrus and is bounded above by the “superior temporal sulcus” and below by the “inferior temporal sulcus.” (Fisch, 279)

Right Temporal Lobe: region of the right hemisphere shown to be involved in facial recognition. Faces of strangers are processed on the right, but faces of public figures, or family members and friends, are processed on the left. (Goldberg, 32) Involved in processing music. Involved in generating aesthetic judgment. (Goldberg, 25)

Superior Temporal Gyrus: involved in speech sound perception. (Goldberg, 29)

Temporal-Parietal Junction: a brain region that processes information about faces, bodies, and one’s own body and its position in space. (Blakeslee, 215) Left region involved in computational skills. For example, counting change. Damage here produces a deficit called “dyscalculia.” (Goldberg, 27)

Temporal Poles: the “anterior” most aspect of the temporal lobe. (Patestas, 73)

Uncus: located in the ‘anteromedial’ temporal lobe. (Fisch, 284) Anterior-most extent of the “parahippocampal gyrus.” (Patestas, 75)

Wernicke’s Area: lies at the rear of the left temporal lobe. Regulates language comprehension. (Kolb, 319) Job is the comprehension of meaning and the “semantic” aspects of “language" - functions that are prime differentiators between human beings and apes. (RamachandranTTB, 19) Lesions in Wernicke’s area cause deficits in language comprehension, also sometimes called ‘receptive aphasia,’  ‘sensory aphasia,’ or “Wernicke’s aphasia.” (Blumenfeld, 43)