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1c - Posterior Parietal Lobes

Posted by Helen St Clair Tracy in Level 1 - The Brain
Published: 04/03/2019, 12:54am | Updated: 13/03/2019, 11:12am

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Diagram showing left side of the brain with the parietal lobe, coloured yellow and indicated with a red arrow.

An important part of the visual brain is found at the back of the parietal lobes, close to where they meet the occipital lobes. These are called the posterior parietal lobes.

Diagram showing left side of the brain with the posterior parietal lobe (coloured yellow, indicated with a red arrow) and the occipital lobe (coloured red, indicated with a black arrow).

Think of your visual world as being a bit like a conveyor belt on a production line.

The image has been created in the occipital lobes, and now it moves to a different part of the brain, like on a conveyer belt, to the back of the parietal lobes (the posterior parietal lobes), to map the scene in 3D and give visual attention.

The occipital lobes compute the image of what you are looking at, like a photograph, but what you are looking at has depth. We live in and move through a three dimensional world.

Mapping the scene in 3D (in relation to our bodies), to let us move through it, is an extra process performed in a part of the brain (the posterior parietal lobes) next to the occipital lobes.

The map of the scene made by the posterior parietal lobes is sent to the front of the brain where we can think about what we see, and give visual attention to parts of the scene (we will discuss the front of the brain in a future lesson). Visual attention lets you look for things, to find things, choose them and stay visually focused on them.


Before you move on to the next lesson, please check:

  • You know the location of the posterior parietal lobes in relation to the occipital lobes
  • You understand the difference between the image (produced in the occipital lobes) and the three-dimensional image, after depth has been added.
  • You know what visual attention helps you do (we will explain much more about this in future lessons)

Next lesson: Level 1d The Brain - Temporal Lobes


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