The parietal lobe is a strange and deliciously fascinating beast. In some respects it can be viewed as that no mans land between the occipital, temporal, and frontal lobes.
So what's so delicious about our friend the fabled parietal lobe? ... Ahh, I'm glad you asked.
One of the many tasks the parietal lobes carry out is to recieve information from every one of our five earthly senses, process them, integrate them with our past experiences and memories to come up with an analysis of our immediate environment. Take an example:
- You see blonde hair, pouty red lips, crystal blue eyes.
- You smell Chanel No. 5
- You hear a delightfully Irish accent
- You feel your sweaty palms
Result: your parietal lobes suggest to you that maybe you should join the growing group of fawning males beginning to gather.
An interesting product of damage to a single parietal lobe is a condition known as contralateral neglect, where the afflicted fail to recognise one whole side to their body as their own.
Oliver Sacks accounts some fascinating problems regarding such conditions in his books. Well worth a read.