Cerebral Cortex Animation
Date Uploaded: 05/02/2019
Attachments: image.png (16KB)
The cerebral cortex (plural cortices), also known as the cerebral mantle, is the outer layer of neural tissue of the cerebrum of the brain, in humans and other mammals. It is separated into two cortices, by the longitudinal fissure that divides the cerebrum into the left and right cerebral hemispheres. The two hemispheres are joined beneath the cortex by the corpus callosum. The cerebral cortex is the largest site of neural integration in the central nervous system. It plays a key role in memory, attention, perception, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. In most mammals, apart from small mammals that have small brains, the cerebral cortex is folded, providing a greater surface area in the confined volume of the cranium. Apart from minimising brain and cranial volume cortical folding is crucial for the wiring of the brain and its functional organisation. In mammals with a small brain there is no folding and the cortex is smooth. A fold or ridge in the cortex is termed a gyrus (plural gyri) and a groove is termed a sulcus (plural sulci). These surface convolutions appear during fetal development and continue to mature after birth through the process of gyrification. In the human brain the majority of the cerebral cortex is not visible from the outside, but buried in the sulci, and the insular cortex is completely hidden. The major sulci and gyri mark the divisions of the cerebrum into the lobes of the brain. There are between 14 and 16 billion neurons in the cerebral cortex. These are organised into cortical columns and minicolumns of neurons that make up the layers of the cortex. Most of the cerebral cortex consists of the six-layered neocortex. Cortical areas have specific functions.
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