Cerebral cortex

Cerebral cortex
The outer portion of the cerebrum, a key part of the brain, consisting of layers of nerve cells and the nerve pathways that connect them. The cerebral cortex is responsible for the processes of thought, perception and memory. Nerve cells in the cerebral cortex die in Alzheimer's disease and in a number of other brain disorders. The word "cortex" is Latin for the bark of a tree. The plural of cortex is cortices. The adjective is cortical.

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cerebral cortex n the convoluted surface layer of gray matter of the cerebrum that functions chiefly in coordination of sensory and motor information called also pallium see neocortex

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the intricately folded outer layer of the cerebrum, making up some 40% of the brain by weight and composed of an estimated 15 thousand million neurones (see grey matter). This is the part of the brain most directly responsible for consciousness, with essential roles in perception, memory, thought, mental ability, and intellect, and it is responsible for initiating voluntary activity. It has connections, direct or indirect, with all parts of the body. The folding of the cortex provides a large surface area, the greater part lying in the clefts (sulci), which divide the upraised convolutions (gyri). On the basis of its microscopic appearance in section, the cortex is mapped into Brodmann areas; it is also divided into functional regions; including motor cortex, sensory cortex, and association area. Within, and continuous with it, lies the white matter, through which connection is made with the rest of the nervous system.

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cortex cerebri [TA] the thin (about 3 mm) layer or mantle of gray substance covering the surface of each cerebral hemisphere, folded into gyri that are separated by sulci. It is responsible for the higher mental functions; for visceral functions; for motor and sensory functions; for perception and behavioral reactions; and for the association and integration of these functions. Many classifications have been suggested: it has been divided into archicortex, paleocortex, and neocortex according to supposed phylogenetic and ontogenetic differences; into functional areas such as motor areas, primary receptive or receiving areas, and association areas; and into areas according to the presence of six cell layers (the isocortex) or of variable numbers and arrangements of cell and fiber layers (the allocortex). Called also pallium. See also layers of cerebral cortex.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cerebral cortex — n. the thin layer of gray matter that makes up the outer portion of the cerebrum, responsible for voluntary movement, perception, thinking, speaking, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Cerebral cortex — For other uses, see Cortex (disambiguation). Brain: Cerebral cortex The cerebral cortex is the outer layer depicted in dark violet …   Wikipedia

  • cerebral cortex — noun the layer of unmyelinated neurons (the grey matter) forming the cortex of the cerebrum (Freq. 2) • Syn: ↑cerebral mantle, ↑pallium, ↑cortex • Derivationally related forms: ↑cortical (for …   Useful english dictionary

  • cerebral cortex — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms cerebral cortex : singular cerebral cortex plural cerebral cortices medical the outer layer of the cerebrum (= the front part of your brain) …   English dictionary

  • cerebral cortex — the intricately folded outer layer of the cerebrum, making up some 40% of the brain by weight and composed of an estimated 15 thousand million neurones (see grey matter). This is the part of the brain most directly responsible for consciousness,… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • cerebral cortex — n. wringled outer layer of the cerebral hemispheres …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cerebral cortex — noun Date: 1926 the convoluted surface layer of gray matter of the cerebrum that functions chiefly in coordination of sensory and motor information compare neocortex …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cerebral cortex — the furrowed outer layer of gray matter in the cerebrum of the brain, associated with the higher brain functions, as voluntary movement, coordination of sensory information, learning and memory, and the expression of individuality. [1925 30] * *… …   Universalium

  • cerebral cortex — noun The grey, folded, outermost layer of the cerebrum that is responsible for higher brain processes such as sensation, voluntary muscle movement, thought, reasoning, and memory. Syn: pallium …   Wiktionary

  • cerebral cortex — Synonyms and related words: afferent neuron, arachnoid, arbor vitae, archipallium, autonomic nervous system, axon, between brain, brain, brain stem, central nervous system, cerebellar hemispheres, cerebellum, cerebrospinal fluid, cerebrum,… …   Moby Thesaurus


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