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The frontal lobe of the brain (located behind the forehead) handles all thought and voluntary behavior such as walking, speech, and problem solving, and some aspects of emotion. Development in this area really takes off between six and 12 months, when your baby becomes more mobile and verbal.
When your baby starts babbling, it's the left side of her brain that lights up with activity, and when she listens to a favorite lullaby or becomes fascinated by what fits inside a piece of Tupperware, the right side of her brain is in control.
For most people, language production is controlled by the left side, while the right side is responsible for interpreting the emotional content of speech through its tone and rhythm.
The frontal lobe matures in spurts and takes years to develop. New functions are continually added throughout childhood. The brain is so active in childhood that half of the calories consumed by the average 5-year-old are used to fuel it.
To learn more about the frontal lobe skills your baby is developing, see the following articles:
- Baby milestone: Talking
- Baby milestone: Walking
- Developmental milestones: Socialization
- Developmental milestones: Understanding words, behavior, and concepts
See an image of the brain and learn more about brain development.