Parietal lobe

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The parietal lobe is located in the brain and is the main receiving area for the sense of touch. It is essential for body perception in general, including the perception of the location and movement of body parts and the orientation of the body in space. Many neurons in the parietal lobe also contribute to motor control.

Primary somatosensory cortex

A strip in the anterior part of the parietal lobe receives most touch sensation and other information about the body. This is the primary somatosensory cortex. Damage to this strip in one hemisphere impairs perception on the opposite side of the body. Each location along the primary somatosensory cortex receives sensation from a different part of the body.

Damage to the Parietal Lobe

Damage to an area in the parietal lobe just behind the primary somatosensory cortex disorganizes sensations of touch. A person with such damage can still feel objects but may ignore what he or she is feeling. A person with damage in the right parietal cortex may show neglect of the left side of the body. Such people may fail to dress or groom the left side of the body, insisting that it is "someone else." They read only the right side of a page and draw only the right side of an object, using only the right side of the paper. If asked to descripe from memory what they would see if they walked down a particular street, they describe only what they would see on the right side. If the asked what they would see if they came back along that street, they describe the opposite side.