Parietal lobes

Parietal lobe.jpgCan you read and write? Do math? Put on your shoes? Read a map? Apply lipstick or know when someone is unhappy? Catch a ball?

If so, thank your Parietal lobes!!!

  • The parietal lobe is complex in that there is a dominant hemisphere and a non-dominant hemisphere. The parietal lobe controls abilities such as math calculation, writing, left-right orientation, and finger recognition. Lesions in part of the parietal lobe can cause deficits in writing, arithmetic calculation, left-right disorientation, and finger-naming (Gerstmann syndrome).
  • The nondominant parietal lobe controls the opposite side of the body enabling you to be aware of environmental space, and is important for abilities such as drawing, being aware of expression, body language and facial recognition. If you can recognize feelings on someone’s face, be grateful to your parietal lobe near the temporal lobe. .An acute injury to the nondominant parietal lobe may cause neglect of the contralateral side (usually the left), resulting in decreased awareness of that part of the body, its environment, and any associated injury to that side (anosognosia). For example, patients with large right parietal lesions may deny the existence of left-sided paralysis. Patients with smaller lesions may lose the ability to do learned motor tasks (eg, dressing, other well-learned activities)—a spatial-manual deficit called apraxia.

Parietal lobe functions include:

  • Cognition
  • Information Processing
  • Touch Sensation (Pain, Temperature, etc.)
  • Understanding Spatial Orientation
  • Movement Coordination
  • Speech
  • Visual Perception
  • Reading and Writing
  • Mathematical Computation

Training with Neurofeedback can assist the brain in making new pathways and support the brain in rewiring itself. Schedule your free demo today to learn more about how Neurofeedback can bring you to a higher state of awareness and function. For the first time in history, we can see our own brains at work and assist its functioning to a higher state of optimization.

I look forward to working with you!

Occipital Lobe

In general, the average human brain weighs about 1,400 grams (3 lb). The brain looks like a large pinkish-gray walnut. The brain can be divided down the middle lengthwise into two halves called the cerebral hemispheres. Each cerebral hemisphere is divided into four lobes by sulci and gyri. The sulci (or fissures) are the grooves and the gyri are the “bumps” that can be seen on the surface of the brain. The folding created by the sulci and gyri increases the amount of cerebral cortex that can fit in the skull. The total surface area of the cerebral cortex is about 324 square inches or about the size of a full page of newspaper. Each person has a unique pattern of gyri and sulci, much like a fingerprintoccipital lobe.

The third lobe of the brain for this series is the occiptal lobe which is located at the back of your head. It is where visual input in the brain is translated into information of what your eyes are seeing, and also to being able to understand what we read.

Similar to how the temporal lobe makes sense of auditory information, the occipital lobe makes sense of visual information so that we are able to understand it. If our occipital lobe is impaired, or injured we would not be able to correctly process visual signals, thus visual confusion would result. We might, for example, see an image chopped up or parts missing. Also, with back of the head injuries, our ability to get into a restorative sleep called REM sleep is often impaired.

Occipital lobe epilepsy accounts for about 5-10 of all epilepsy. An occipital lobe epilepsy may be triggered by a strobe light show since the origin is in the visual processing component of the brain.

 

Brain Waves Basic

Four simple periodic rhythms recorded in the EEG are alpha, beta, delta, and theta. These rhythms are identified by frequency (Hz or cycles/sec) and amplitude. The amplitudes recorded by scalp electrodes are in the range of microvolts (μV or 1/1,000,000 of a volt).

rhythm Freq (Hz) Amp(μV)
alpha 8-13 20-200
beta 13-30 5-10
delta 1-5 20-200
theta 4-8 10

Alpha: The four basic rhythms have been associated with various states. In general, the alpha rhythm is the prominent EEG wave pattern of an adult who is awake but relaxed with eyes closed. Each region of the brain had a characteristic alpha rhythm but alpha waves of the greatest amplitude are recorded from the occipital and parietal regions of the cerebral cortex. In general, amplitudes of alpha waves diminish when subjects open their eyes and are attentive to external stimuli although some subjects trained in relaxation techniques can maintain high alpha amplitudes even with their eyes open.

Beta: Beta rhythms occur in individuals who are alert and attentive to external stimuli or exert specific mental effort, or paradoxically, beta rhythms also occur during deep sleep, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep when the eyes switch back and forth. This does not mean that there is less electrical activity, rather that the “positive” and “negative” activities are starting to counterbalance so that the sum of the electrical activity is less. Thus, instead of getting the wave-like synchronized pattern of alpha waves, desynchronization or alpha block occurs. So, the beta wave represents arousal of the cortex to a higher state of alertness or tension. It may also be associated with “remembering” or retrieving memories.

Delta and Theta: Delta and theta rhythms are low-frequency EEG patterns that increase during sleep in the normal adult.   As people move from lighter to deeper stages of sleep (prior to REM sleep), the occurrence of alpha waves diminish and is gradually replaced by the lower frequency theta and then delta frequency rhythms.

Although delta and theta rhythms are generally prominent during sleep, there are cases when delta and theta rhythms are recorded from individuals who are awake. For example, theta waves will occur for brief intervals during emotional responses to frustrating events or situations.   Delta waves may increase during difficult mental activities requiring concentration. In general, the occurrence and amplitudes of delta and theta rhythms are highly variable within and between individuals.

Neurons that fire together…

Neurons that Fire Together Wire Together

  What does THAT mean for you? How can you retrain your brain cells to work more in your favor towards happiness and ease?

 In 2013 Dr. Thomas Sudhof won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of synaptic transmission–how brain cells communicate via chemicals. He credits his childhood Bassoon teacher with being his most influential teacher. Think about THAT! He currently works in the School for Medicine at Stanford. He is Professor of Molecular & Cellular Neurology, Psychiatry and Physiology.  Pretty impressive CV.

Our brain cells communicate with one another via synaptic transmission–one brain cell releases a chemical (neurotransmitter) that the next brain cell absorbs.  This communication process is known as “neuronal firing.”  When brain cells communicate frequently, the connection between them strengthens.  Messages that travel the same pathway in the brain over & over begin to transmit faster & faster.  With enough repetition, they become automatic.  That’s why we practice things like hitting a golf ball–with enough practice, we can go on automatic pilot.

Psychologists have long known that negative thought processes follow this same pattern–the more we think about, or “ruminate,” on a negative thought, the more entrenched the thought becomes.  Negative and traumatic thoughts also tend to “loop”–they play themselves over and over until we do something consciously to stop them.

The more these negative thoughts loop, the stronger the neural pathways become, and the more difficult it becomes to stop them!  This is why thoughts that cause depression, anxiety, panic, obsessions, and compulsions can become so difficult to combat.  And along the way, these thoughts stir up emotional as well as physiological reactions.

Psychotherapy, regardless of the orientation, attempts to stop this process. Neurofeedback gets to the heart of the issue. A brain map can identify where there are too many or too few synapses firing and give you real time information on how to either quiet or encourage firing in specific regions of the brain so that you can have a better operating system.

Come by for a free demonstration at Brain Training of New England to learn more about your brain -your command central.