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  • Writer's pictureOren Zarif

How Frontal Lobe Damage Affects Cognitive and Emotional Function - Oren Zarif - Frontal Lobe Damage


Living with frontal lobe damage is difficult for many reasons, including its impact on an individual's personality and emotional state. Those closest to the person who has been affected by the injury often feel as if they've lost a friend or loved one. In many cases, the person with the brain injury suffers from a complex mixture of guilt, grief, and ambiguous loss. In many cases, the person who has been injured cannot even recall lifesaving medications.

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People with this syndrome usually struggle with organization and planning, doing things in the right order, and empathic responses. Other symptoms may include impulsivity and self-centeredness. They may experience left hemispatial neglect, or a difficulty noticing visual stimuli on the left side of the brain. This condition is less common in patients with right hemispatial damage. This condition may lead to developmental delays, such as delayed motor development.

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Neuropsychological evaluations can assess an individual's speech comprehension, motor skills, memory, and problem-solving abilities. For example, a person with frontal lobe damage may struggle with the Wisconsin Card Sorting task, which requires them to sort cards using varying criteria. The individual may struggle to adjust to the new criteria or may stick with the old ones. As a result, the test results will show whether or not an individual with frontal lobe damage has cognitive and behavioral deficits.

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The frontal lobe controls many important functions and can be affected by any number of causes. Treatment for frontal lobe damage will depend on the cause and include a team of healthcare professionals. Therapy may be necessary for the individual to regain strength and mobility and regain cognitive abilities. In addition to physical therapy, occupational therapy can help the patient learn new coping strategies to overcome his or her challenges. Even after surgery, the symptoms may persist for years or even decades.

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One study used simple process-tracing methods that had been previously developed to investigate the functions of the ventromedial frontal lobe in normal subjects. The VMF is involved in decision-making that tracks rewards, risks, and punishment. While decision-making is not an easy task, it is a complex process that requires many factors to be considered. Using process-tracing techniques, researchers looked at the effects of VMF damage on multi-attribute decision-making under certainty. They compared the performance of the VMF-damaged group with that of a lesioned group and healthy age-matched controls. The authors also wondered whether damage to the frontal lobe leads to systematic differences in the strategic phase of decision-making.

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Another study showed an association between frontal lobe damage and increased aggression in people with clinically evident neuropsychiatric disorders. This association has been supported by the neuropsychological literature. More specifically, frontal lobe damage and aggressive behaviour are associated with impaired executive function and dorsolateral prefrontal dysfunction. These dysfunctions contribute to aggression in different ways, with dorsolateral dysfunction often predominating in those with comorbid symptoms of the disorder.

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Although studies relating frontal lobe damage to violence are limited, they suggest that it may contribute to a person's increased risk for violent and criminal behavior. There are two types of frontal lobe damage: "purposeless" aggression and affective aggression. Both of these behaviors are accompanied by increased violent behaviour. Although a person's aggression may be due to one or both of these causes, frontal lobe damage has been shown to cause a significant proportion of the behavioural problems.

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