News tagged with cerebral cortex

Related topics: brain , neurons , magnetic resonance imaging , brain cells , nerve cells

'Chatty' cells help build the brain

The cerebral cortex, which controls higher processes such as perception, thought and cognition, is the most complex structure in the mammalian central nervous system. Although much is known about the intricate ...

Nov 28, 2014
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Manipulating memory with light

Just look into the light: not quite, but researchers at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Psychology have used light to erase specific memories in mice, and proved a basic theory of how ...

Oct 09, 2014
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Math ability requires crosstalk in the brain

A new study by researchers at UT Dallas' Center for Vital Longevity, Duke University, and the University of Michigan has found that the strength of communication between the left and right hemispheres of ...

Aug 29, 2012
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Epilepsy sends differentiated neurons on the run

(Medical Xpress)—The smooth operation of the brain requires a certain robustness to fluctuations in its home within the body. At the same time, its extraordinary power derives from an activity structure ...

Mar 29, 2013
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How visual attention affects the brain

New work at the University of California, Davis, shows for the first time how visual attention affects activity in specific brain cells. The paper, published June 26 in the journal Nature, shows that attent ...

Jun 26, 2013
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Cerebral cortex

The cerebral cortex is a structure within the brain that plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. It constitutes the outermost layer of the cerebrum. In preserved brains, it has a grey color, hence the name "grey matter". Grey matter is formed by neurons and their unmyelinated fibers, whereas the white matter below the grey matter of the cortex is formed predominantly by myelinated axons interconnecting different regions of the central nervous system. The human cerebral cortex is 2–4 mm (0.08–0.16 inches) thick.

The surface of the cerebral cortex is folded in large mammals, such that more than two-thirds of the cortical surface is buried in the grooves, called "sulci." The phylogenetically most recent part of the cerebral cortex, the neocortex, also called isocortex, is differentiated into six horizontal layers; the more ancient part of the cerebral cortex, the hippocampus (also called archicortex), has at most three cellular layers, and is divided into subfields. Relative variations in thickness or cell type (among other parameters) allow us to distinguish between different neocortical architectonic fields. The geometry of at least some of these fields seems to be related to the anatomy of the cortical folds, and, for example, layers in the upper part of the cortical ridges (called gyri) seem to be more clearly differentiated than in its deeper parts.

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