Occipital Lobes 109

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Gordon Johnson:        Doctor, in our next segment I’d like to talk about the occipital lobes. Can you show us where the occipital lobe is?

Dr. Erin Bigler:            Yes. So, the occipital lobe is right at the back of the brain. And it’s a very dedicated region of the brain to vision as might be expected.

Gordon Johnson:        When you say dedicated, you’re saying it is a very specific part of the brain that does almost exclusively that function?

Dr. Erin Bigler:            So, if we open this up and we tilt it back like so, this area right in here is what is referred to as visual cortex. This is where you actually put what the eye and the retina of the eye is transducing into the brain as electrical impulses. It is now created into the visual gestalt, the information that we actually process and “see”. It’s actually happening back here. Now, it comes through another pathway down in the diencephalon, the back of the diencephalon, that’s the thalamus and some initial processing is happening at that level but then it gets projected back here. But, now if you want to guide some kind of motor behavior, you have to then take this information from visual cortex and get it up into motor cortex and then get it up into pre‑motor cortex and more anterior frontal areas that are involved in planning and organization to carry that out.

 

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Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

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