\

 

The frontal lobes consist  three overall regions: precentral, premotor, and prefrontal. The precentral, or motor cortex. sends kinesthetic signals to the spinal cord. In front of this cortex are the supplementary motor area, frontal eye fields, and Broca's area. "The supplementary area is involved in programming and initiation of movement sequences; frontal; eye fields participate in controlling eye movements; Broca's area is involved in voluntary speech."1 There is also the prefrontal cortex, which occupies about 30 percent of the total cortex in humans. Altogether, the frontal lobes are where higher human cognitive processes take place. Where we think, where we are attentive, where, if anywhere, our conscience resides.

In 1880, the reknowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin was awarded a commission to produce the door for the Museum of Decorative Arts, in Paris. Thus he began work on The Gates of Hell, a project--based on the "Inferno" section of Dante's The Divine Comedy--that he never completed. But from this momumental sculpture came many individual pieces, including the work for which Rodin is most remembered, The Thinker, "a man capable of thinking the world."2

If approached hierarchically, it is understandable why the frontal lobe would be reached last, as it is the most recent major lobe whose functions we've begun to interpret. This is because most of our biological knowledge is usually gained from maladies, and frontal lobe dysfunction is not always readily accessible, as the patient's intelligence is usually not compromised. Furthermore, as the frontal lobes play a central role in the recovery of memories, and anticipation, it was best to keep them out of the picture for as long as possible in order to dampen the Hero's expectations of a resolution, even though mnemonics and foresight were appropiated as stratigies. 

By the first century, a feminine divine archetype began to emerge in the works of Alexandrian Jewish writers, principally in the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon. A central component of the Hebrew godhead, she was Chokmah, "Wisdom." Better known by her Greek name, Sophia, she is "the mother of the gifts of wisdom and prophecy."3 

The orbitomedial frontal cortex projects back to many of the modules already traversed, serving "as integrator and intermediary between limbic drive systems"4 that initated this journey, as represented by the hippocampus,5 and, in fact, it constitutes an intregal part of the limbic loop, which, among other things, sorts and projects emotions. 

In his Gates, Rodin "stripped away the poet's synthesis of all transitory elements and attached himself solely to the representation of the world of feeling and passions of the human figure that Dante created."6 Like The Thinker, Sophia's wisdom cannot be detached from the corporeal, along with the transformative associations that makes it whole. 


(1) G.R. Taylor, The Natural History of the Mind. New York, 1979. p.198.
(2) I. Jianou, Rodin. Paris, France, 1970. p.57.
(3) S.A. Hoeller, Jung and the Lost Gospels. Wheaton, IL., 1989. pp.66-67.
(4) L. Miller, Inner Natures: Brain, Self & Personality. New York, 1990. p.122.
5) See, W.J.H. Navta and V.B. Domesick, "Neural Associations of the Limbic System." In, A. Beckman, Editor, The Neural Basis of Behavior. New York, 1982. pp.175-206.
(6) J. Cladel, Rodin, The Man and His Art. London, England, 1917. p.267.