Understanding the Brain Part 3: Vision and the Occipital Lobe
One would think that visual processing and the ability to perceive the things you see would come from the front part of the brain. However, this is not the case in humans. The occipital lobe plays one of the most important roles in human functioning: Vision and how we perceive everything we see.
Located in the far back part of the brain, the occipital lobe is also one of the smaller parts of the entire brain. It plays one very important role: Capturing everything you see and relaying that information to the other lobes for processing. A good way to think of its role is to compare it to a language translator. Imagine 2 people speak different languages and need to communicate. They would need a translator, someone who can listen to one language, process it and convert it into another language that the other person can understand. This is precisely what the occipital lobe does. It takes in everything the eyes see, processes that information, and then passes it along to other parts of the brain for interpretation, evaluation and decision making.
Injury to this area is rare, but it can happen. While physical injury is not as likely, chemical reactions from the body as well as the things we put in our bodies can have a prolonged effect on our visual acuity and perception. When the occipital lobes are impacted, we can be slow to process information. For some people, the act of waking up takes a long time because the occipital lobe has to warm itself up. For others, brain fog can occur when the occipital lobes are not working normally. Ever notice how some people are slow to react to their environment. This could be that their brain needs time to process what it is seeing and react accordingly. Behaviors in some can be explained by their ability to interpret what they are seeing. Similarly, those who have a strong sensitivity to lights, flashing lights or who suffer from epilepsy may have problems in the occipital lobe of their brain. Surprisingly, it can also affect our ability to get into a REM state which gives us the best sleep
Neurofeedback is an exceptionally effective way to treat injuries to the occipital lobe. That is because it can train this section of the brain directly. Using sensors attached to the frontal lobe of the brain, neurofeedback can monitor brainwave patterns and help guide them back into normal, healthy patterns. No other brain training method works directly on the areas of the brain like neurofeedback, which is why it can be so effective.
If you or someone you know are having issues related to brain fog, sleep issues or a slowness to react to what they see, you should come in and get a non-invasive, 30 minute brain map. In Orlando, this brain map can precisely identify if the occipital lobe of the brain has been impacted. The brain map can also offer a protocol for treatment using neurofeedback.
To learn more about neurofeedback, browse this site or call our office.
Posted In: Neurofeedback