The temporal lobes ride between
the frontal and occipital lobes, approximately at the midline of
the skull, behind both temples,
and includes modules of the limbic system. Standing "at the
end of the 'what' stream," a major function of these lobes
is to organize and categorize sensory material.1 Disturbances
can affect both auditory (impaired language comprehension) and visual (decreased
ability to recognize visual content, such as faces).
have found that stimulating the temporal lobes can result in the
subject experiencing what they perceive as a ghostly image of "Jesus," "Mohammed," "Buddha," or
a neutral "spiritual" entity, depending upon the tradition
in which the subject had been schooled. Pantheists may see an "Ancestor." Along
with these visions may come a feeling of déjà vu.2 There
may also be satanic experiences, depending upon which
side of the amygdala, found in these lobes, has been activated.
Damage to the temporal lobes may
result in long-term memory loss, while there may be profound loss
of short-term memory, because the hippocampus is
inclusive to these lobes. While the left lobe renders verbal attributes,
lesions on the the right side may hinder non-verbal recall, such
as music and art. Left temporal lesions hamper the recognition
of words, while right temporal damage can cause vocal inhibitions,
After Yahweh spoke
to Moses from a Burning Bush, ordering him to lead his people,
Moses begged to be released from this task. "They will not
believe me," he pleaded, "nor harken to my voice...I
am not eloquent, neither heretoforth, nor since thou hast spoken
unto thy servant. I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."3 Most
scholars agree that these passages refer to Moses as having been a
stutterer, one of the earliest
Symptoms of schizophrenia
have been traced to abnormalities of the temporal lobes. Post-mortum
examinations have found that the degree of the lobes' gyral
folding is significantly increased in persons who were diagnosed
as schizophrenic.4 Overactivity
in the middle and particularly in the right front lobes has been
associated with auditory hallucinations. The cascades of temporal
lobe epilepsy, now called "complex partial seizure disorder," can
cause perseverative speech, paranoia and aggressive rages (as it
affects the amygdala), as well as transcendental
feelings of oneness with the universe.
(1) J. McCrone, Going Inside. New York, 2001.
(2) J. Hitt, "This Is
Your Brain on God." http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.11/persinger.html
(3) Exodus 4:1,10)
(4) Highley J.R., et al.,."Temporal lobe length is reduced, and gyral
folding is increased in schizophrenia: a post-mortem study." Schzophr.
Res. (1998); Vol. 34, pp.1-12.