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Temporal lobe

The temporal lobe folds underneath each half of the brain on either side, below the frontal and parietal lobes.

The temporal lobe houses our ability to receive and interpret auditory information from the ear. It also collects and interprets information from the nose. It is the primary area of the brain for dealing with sensory input.

An important area within the temporal lobe, referred to as the Wernicke’s area, gives us the ability to recognize speech and interpret the meaning of words. Damage to this area, such as from trauma or a stroke, can lead to difficulty understanding speech and difficulty saying words that make sense.

This area is highly important to language. Studies have shown that children begin understanding language they hear years before they can speak it, and this is largely due to the functioning of the temporal lobe.

The temporal lobe is also believed to be part of long-term memory, such as remembering autobiographical information, dates, and places. Damage to this area can also cause anterograde amnesia, or the inability to create new memories.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Temporal lobe

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