The occipital lobe is responsible for processing and interpreting visual information. It is associated with many visual functions, which include:
|Depth and Distance Perception||The ability to see objects in three dimensions (length, width, and depth) and judge how far an object is||Walking through a crowd of people without bumping into others|
|Color Determination||The ability to recognize and identify colors||Finding a red pen to grade papers|
|Object and Face Recognition||The ability to recognize and identify faces and objects||Recognizing your friend at a mall|
|Memory Formation||The ability to remember information that was received and processed by the occipital lobe||Recalling the model of a car involved in an accident|
These visual abilities are important because they help us interact with our environment and perform our everyday activities more easily and functionally.
Damage to the occipital lobe may lead to:
- Vision loss or blindness
- Inability to identify colors
The location of the injury may also cause different types of vision loss.
|On one side of the occipital lobe||Visual field cut on the same side of both eyes
|On both sides of the occipital lobe||Cortical blindness: total or partial loss of vision in a normal-appearing eye|
|On the back portion of the occipital lobe||Visual field cut on the same side of both eyes but can still maintain some vision in the middle of your visual field|
There are general strategies that an individual with an occipital lobe injury can utilize. These include:
- Visual scanning techniques
- Using labels with large print
- Using contrast to distinguish items, i.e., colored tape on edge of stairs
- Using a magnifying glass
- Maintaining good lighting around the house
For more TBI Glossary Terms, click here.