Temporal lobe

part of the brain

The temporal lobe is a region of the cerebral cortex that is under the Sylvian fissure on both cerebral hemispheres of the mammalian brain.[3]

Temporal lobe
Lobes of the human brain (temporal lobe is shown in green)
Section of brain showing upper surface of temporal lobe.
Part ofCerebrum
ArteryMiddle cerebral artery[1]: 16 
Posterior cerebral artery[1]: 26 
Vein[1]: 16 
Inferior anastomotic vein[2]
LatinLobus temporalis
NeuroLex IDbirnlex_1160
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The temporal lobe is involved in auditory perception and is home to the primary auditory cortex. It is also important for the processing of semantics (meaning) in both speech and vision. The temporal lobe contains the hippocampus and plays a key role in the formation of long-term memory.

An area in the Sylvian fissure is the first place where auditory signals from the cochlea reach the cerebral cortex. This part of the cortex (primary auditory cortex) is involved in hearing. Other areas of the temporal lobes are involved in high-level auditory processing. In humans this includes speech, for which the left temporal lobe in particular seems to be specialized. Wernicke's area, which spans the region between temporal and parietal lobes, plays a key role (with Broca's area, which is in the frontal lobe). The functions of the left temporal lobe extends to comprehension, naming, verbal memory and other language functions.

The underside of the temporal lobes do high-level visual processing of faces and scenes. Front parts of this area are involved in object perception and recognition.

Deep inside the medial temporal lobes lie the hippocampus, which is essential for memory function – particularly the transfer from short to long term memory and control of spatial memory and behaviour.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Starr, Philip A.; Barbaro, Nicholas M.; Larson, Paul S. (30 November 2008). Neurosurgical Operative Atlas: Functional Neurosurgery. Thieme. pp. 16, 26. ISBN 9781588903990.
  2. Sekhar, Laligam N.; de Oliveira, Evandro (1999). Cranial Microsurgery: Approaches and Techniques. Thieme. p. 432. ISBN 9780865776982.
  3. "Temporal Lobe". Langbrain. Rice University. Retrieved 2 January 2011.