Medical research

Biological mechanisms behind skillful piano fingering

Dr. Masato Hirano of Sony Computer Science Laboratories and his colleagues have discovered a sensorimotor function integration mechanism that enables skillful fingering by pianists.

Neuroscience

How texture deceives the moving finger

The perceived speed of a surface moving across the skin depends on texture, with some textures fooling us into thinking that an object is moving faster than it is, according to a study published August 27 in the open-access ...

Neuroscience

New brain map could improve AI algorithms for machine vision

Despite years of research, the brain still contains broad areas of unchartered territory. A team of scientists, led by neuroscientists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and University of Sydney, recently found new evidence ...

Neuroscience

Microgravity changes brain connectivity

An international team of Russian and Belgian researchers, including scientists from HSE University, has found out that space travel has a significant impact on the brain: they discovered that cosmonauts demonstrate changes ...

Neuroscience

Speech development starts in the womb

New parents are always thrilled when their offspring finally speaks its first words—usually at the age of 12 to 18 months. What parents often don't know is that the regions of the brain that recognise and process speech ...

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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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