The temporal lobe is a part of the brain located under the temples and below the lateral fissure. On its own, the right side of the temporal lobe deals with visual memory (such as identifying and recognizing a face) whereas the left lobe handles verbal memory and comprehension (such as understanding a word, and applying meaning to it). In addition, parts of the temporal lobe handle balance and equilibrium.

In addition to the intrinsic functions of the temporal lobe as a whole, it also houses other systems intricate to the proper functioning of the human body, including the olfactory cortex (which handles the sense of smell), the amygdala (which handles sensory input which triggers fear or danger), the hippocampus (which handles the storage of new long-term memories), the primary auditory cortex (which processes sound), and much of the limbic system which controls the heart, blood vessels and the gastro-intestinal systems.