Functional Significance of a Temporal Lobe

Authors: J. Kotašková;  P. Marusič
Authors‘ workplace: Neurologická klinika 2. LF UK a FN v Motole, Praha
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2010; 73/106(4): 387-391
Category: Review Article


The temporal pole is the least explored part of the temporal lobe, and not only anatomically. Its functional significance is also poorly understood. Due to the large number of connections with the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex involved, the temporal pole is assumed to be part of the limbic system. It is involved in recognition of facial and emotional features, social-emotional empathy (theory of mind), naming of objects and persons and other memory functions, matters that are not routinely tested in neuropsychological assessment. An important expansion of knowledge of temporal pole functions has been enabled by the use of functional neuro-imaging methods, especially positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance. An impairment of functions associated with the temporal pole has been observed in Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and psychosis. The aim of this review is to summarize basic knowledge of temporal pole function in temporal lobe epilepsy patients.

Key words:
temporal pole – epilepsy – emotion recognition – social cognition – theory of mind


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