Cerebral cortex

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Human motor cortex
Minute structure of the cerebral cortex
Cajal cortex drawings
Visual cortex - low mag
Cerebrovascular System

== Cerebral Cortex ==

The cerebral cortex is the outermost layer of the brain in vertebrates. It is a key part of the central nervous system and plays a crucial role in many complex brain functions, including memory, attention, perception, cognition, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness.

Structure[edit | edit source]

The cerebral cortex is divided into two cerebral hemispheres, each of which is further divided into four main lobes of the brain: the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobe, and occipital lobe. Each lobe is associated with different functions:

The cerebral cortex is characterized by its folded appearance, with ridges called gyri and grooves called sulci. This folding increases the surface area of the cortex, allowing for a greater number of neurons and more complex brain functions.

Function[edit | edit source]

The cerebral cortex is involved in many high-level brain functions. It is responsible for processing sensory information from the sensory organs, controlling voluntary muscle movements, and enabling complex cognitive processes. The cortex is also involved in language, with specific areas such as Broca's area and Wernicke's area playing key roles in speech production and language comprehension, respectively.

Development[edit | edit source]

The development of the cerebral cortex begins in the embryonic stage and continues into early adulthood. The process involves the proliferation of neural progenitor cells, the migration of neurons to their appropriate locations, and the formation of synaptic connections.

Clinical Significance[edit | edit source]

Damage to the cerebral cortex can result in a variety of neurological disorders. For example, damage to the frontal lobe can lead to changes in personality and behavior, while damage to the occipital lobe can result in visual impairments. Conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease can all affect the cerebral cortex.

Related Pages[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD