As we look at the parietal lobe in terms of injury after a car accident, we see patients who have difficulty naming objects. They have problems processing and understanding what their fingers are telling them they are touching. You see people’s academic skills fall, and things that they were usually able to do in the workplace from a cognitive standpoint are now diminished or gone. There is confusion between the left and the right. You have a loss of hand-eye coordination and the awareness of where we are in relation to others physically, where our bodies are in space.
So let’s now move on to the occipital lobe. The occipital lobe is another “high level function” area of the brain. It controls things like reading and visual processing. When the occipital lobe is damaged through a traumatic brain injury, we see issues of vision defects. There is loss of the visual field, problems visually locating objects and identifying colors. People can have distorted vision, hallucinations, and they can have something called “word blindness,” which is when a person may be able to identify letters but is unable to understand them in the context of certain words. And there is an overall slowed processing of the way that our brains process the movement of objects and other visual information.
Next we come to the cerebellum. Located near the base of the brain, the cerebellum is also a very high functioning part of the brain. As we look at the types of things that our Cerebellum does for us each and every day, we see things like the following: (1) the control of growth and fine motor coordination. (2) Our voluntary motor coordination. So when we decide we want to reach out and grab a jar off the shelf, we extend our arm and that’s our cerebellum in action. (3) Balance and equilibrium, the ability to stand up and not fall over, ride a skateboard, ride a bicycle, or go for a jog down the block. (4) Our postural control. The ability to stand up straight, and stay up right. And (5) our eye movements – moving our eyes back and forth and up and down, and utilizing our eyes to obtain visual information so that it can be processed by our brain.