Association areas can be located in the four cortical lobes of the Cerebral cortex. They are primarily involved in processing and integrating information from the senses and relate to higher mental abilities such as [[[thinking]] and reasoning. In general, areas of the cortex apparently uninvolved in motor or sensory processing are regarded as associaition areas.

Association areas function to produce a meaningful perceptual experience of the world, enable us to interact effectively, and support abstract thinking and language. The parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes - all located in the posterior part of the cortex - organize sensory information into a coherent perceptual model of our environment centered on our body image. The frontal lobe or prefrontal association complex is involved in planning actions and movement, as well as abstract thought. In the past it was theorized that language abilities are localized in the left hemisphere in areas 44/45, the Broca's area, for language expression and area 22, the Wernicke's area, for language reception. However, language is no longer limited to easily identifiable areas. More recent research suggests that the processes of language expression and reception occur in areas other than just the perisylvian structures, such as the prefrontal lobe, basal ganglia, cerebellum, pons, caudate nucleus, and others. [1]

Association Area of The Frontal Lobe Edit

Association areas of the frontal lobes pay an executive role in thinking, feeling and behaviour because it is an 'end point' for much of the sensory information received and processed in the other lobes.

Key Processes include:

·Planning and thinking
·Expression of personality
·Control and expression of emotion

Damage to the frontal lobe's association areas can cause impairment to mental abilities such as judging, planning and using initiative. The case study conducted on Phineas Gage, showed a dramatic change of personality after an accident damaged his frontal lobes.

Association Area of the Parietal Lobe Edit

Key Processes include:

·Spatial awareness (sensing the body's position in space)
·Paying visual attention to stimuli
·Spatial reasoning (determining where an object is located in space)

Damage to the right parietal lobe (only) can cause Neglect Syndrome where a patient acts as if the left side of their world does not exist.

Association Area of the Occipital Lobe Edit

Association areas of the occipital lobes interact with other lobes to integrate visual information with information from memory, language and sounds so we can interpret a visual stimulus.

Key Processes include:

·Enables retention of memories associated to visual images
·Enables one to think visually

Association Area of the Temporal Lobe Edit

Association areas of the temporal lobe interact with other lobes to complete processes related to memory.

Key Processes include:

·Determining appropriate emotional responses to sensory information and memories
·Memory of facts
·Procedural memories (how to do things)
·Episodic memories (personal experiences such as birthdays)
·Memories of faces to enable facial recognition of familiar people

People with partial or total memory loss often have damage to the temporal lobe association areas.

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