The Human Brain and Seizures

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The brain is made up of millions of nerve cells called neurons. These cells generate electrical impulses and messages to produce thoughts, feelings, movement and control body functions.

A seizure happens when the normal alternating pattern of these electrical impulses are disrupted, causing them to rapidly fire all at once.

Depending on where the seizure in the brain, this can cause changes in:

  • sensation and feeling
  • awareness and consciousness
  • behaviour
  • or movement

Seizures vary greatly and can be very brief or last up to two or three minutes. Most seizures are over in less than two minutes. Some seizures are severe and some very subtle.

Not all seizures are diagnosed as epilepsy.

Regions of the brain

The brain is divided into two halves, left and right, called hemispheres. The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body and left hemisphere controls the right. Each hemisphere has four lobes – frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital.


The largest structure of the brain is the cerebrum and contains lobes including frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes. It is the centre of intellect, memory, language and consciousness, receiving and interpreting sensory information and controlling movement.

Frontal Lobes

The frontal lobes are considered our emotional control centre and home to our personality. They are involved in motor function (movement), problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behaviour.

Parietal Lobes

The parietal lobes are involved with touch, temperature and pain perception (sensation), awareness of the body and where it is in space.

Temporal Lobes

The temporal lobes are involved in language, speech, hearing, memory, personality and behaviour.

Occipital Lobes

The occipital lobes are primarily responsible for vision


The brain stem is the stem-like part of the base of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord. It controls the flow of messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and also controls basic body functions such as breathing, swallowing, heart rate, blood pressure, consciousness, and whether one is awake or sleepy.


The cerebellum is responsible for co-ordination, and maintaining of posture, muscle tone, and balance.

If you want to know more about the brain and its functions, go to:

Brain Function