Structure-function and dysfunction issues in neuropsychology include such directional terms used to describe generalized brain locations as anterior-posterior, rostral-caudal, superior-inferior, dorsal-ventral, medial-lateral. All humans have the same brain plan and the basic directional terms. In this paper, I will define the location pairs to comprehend the ways of navigation around the brain.
The first pair is anterior and posterior. Anterior refers to the head and front end. Conversely, the posterior refers to the hind end, and it is located toward the bottom of the feet. Rostral location –is the oral or nasal part. In the human brain, this location is situated toward the tip of the frontal lobe. It is possible to say that this location has the same area as the anterior. Caudal location is similar to posterior, and it is located toward the bottom of the feet.
Superior location can be considered as the head end, while inferior, in the opposite, is considered as the feet end. Dorsal location is related to the back and ventral one – with a belly. Lateral location refers to the left and right sides of the body. Medial as the directional term is considered as the medial plane of the body. Lateral location means the direction away from the body’s midline, while medial means toward the midline.
There are three directional planes in the human brain: rostral-caudal, dorsal-ventral, and medial-lateral (Banich, 2011, p. 5). The front of the brain is considered as anterior, while the back part – as posterior. Rostral is located toward the head, caudal – toward the back. In the human brain, dorsal and ventral locations are similar to superior and inferior, and they are located in the top and bottom. Medial is the area located in the middle of the brain. The lateral is located towards the outside of the brain.
There are four major brain lobes, such as frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe. The frontal lobe is located in the anterior area (or rostral) and has motor, premotor, and prefrontal regions (Banich, 2011, p. 27). The parietal lobe is in the posterior position to the frontal lobe. The occipital lobe is located in an inferior position to the parietal lobe. The temporal lobe, responsible for smell and sound, is located at the bottom of the brain (ventral location). The brain stem is located in the medial part of the brain. The cerebellum is located at the bottom of the brain (ventral location).
As the adult brain is sectioned, it is necessary to know from which side while sectioning one is looking at it. There are three possible views, such as sagittal, coronal, and horizontal views. In the case of a sagittal view, the human brain is divided into left and right parts; therefore, depending on the position one is looking, one can see the lateral location or medial. A coronal view allows dividing the brain into dorsal and ventral parts. Therefore, depending on the position one is looking for, one can see a dorsal location while looking from the back and ventral location while looking from the front. A horizontal view allows for seeing superior or inferior parts of the brain. Thus, when one is looking from the top, one can see the superior part and, vice versa, looking from the bottom, one can see the inferior part.
Banich, M. (2011). Cognitive Neuroscience. 3rd ed. US: Wadsworth Publishing.