Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Cerebral Cortex

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_304
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Synonyms

Definition

The cerebral cortex is a structure lying on the outer surface of the vertebrate cerebrum that is responsible for consciousness and higher brain functions.

Historical Background

The cerebral cortex is a structure lying on the outer surface of the vertebrate cerebrum that is responsible for consciousness and higher brain functions, including sensory perception, voluntary movement, language, reasoning, memory, and planning. Cerebral comes from the Latin word cerebrum, meaning brain. Cortex comes from the Latin word for bark, which is typically an outer layer or covering. In large mammals, this structure is folded forming ridges known as gyri and grooves known as sulci. Gyri and sulci normally form in the same relative locations from one individual to another. This folding increases the cortical surface area while allowing for constraints on skull circumference. Abnormal folding of the cortex is associated with neurological deficits. Absent or...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA