Brain Anatomy
Seizure Types


The cerebrum is the largest and most recognizable of the brain's structures. It is made up of a highly folded outer layer, called the cerebral cortex, and an inner layer rich in nerve fibers that carry signals from the cortex to targets in other parts of the brain and the body. The cerebrum is divided into right and left hemispheres, with a bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum connecting and aiding in communication between the two halves. Each hemisphere can be divided further into four functionally distinct lobes: frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal.

The frontal lobe makes up the largest portion of the cerebrum. Located just behind the forehead, this area of the brain is responsible for emotions, personality, memory, and skills associated with problem solving, planning, and self regulation. The frontal lobe also includes the motor strip, which controls muscles in the limbs and face. Seizures originating in the frontal lobe are common and frequently occur at night. They typically involve the arms, legs, head, or eyes.

The occipital lobe is located at the back of the cerebrum, behind the temporal and parietal lobes. One of the most important functions of this lobe is the processing of visual stimuli. Seizures that originate in or spread to the occipital lobe may cause visual distortions or hallucinations.

The parietal lobe is located at the top of the cerebrum, behind the frontal lobe. This lobe receives much of the body's sensory stimuli and is responsible for integrating and interpreting information related to touch, sound, smell, and vision. The area of the parietal lobe most involved in sensation is the sensory strip, portions of which have been linked to specific body parts and/or functions. Seizures that originate in or spread to the parietal lobe can cause abnormal sensations, such as auditory or olfactory hallucinations.

The temporal lobe is located near the temples, just below the center of the cerebrum. This area of the brain is responsible for language and memory, as well as speech and auditory perception. Seizures in the temporal lobe are very common, particularly in adults, and can cause speech and language disturbances, as well as changes in mood or personality. Temporal lobe seizures in the left hemisphere may cause problems with memory and language. Right temporal lobe seizures may cause visual spatial problems; difficulty recognizing letters, shapes, patterns, and forms; and problems with nonverbal attention.