Growing a cerebral tract in a microscale brain model

An international research team led by The University of Tokyo modeled the growth of cerebral tracts. Using neurons derived from stem cells, they grew cortical-like spheroids. In a microdevice, the spheroids extended bundles ...


Key brain region for navigating familiar places identified

UCL scientists have discovered the key brain region for navigating well-known places, helping explain why brain damage seen in early stages of Alzheimer's disease can cause such severe disorientation.

Medical research

Development of a technology to produce dorsal cortical neurons

Korea Brain Research Institute (KBRI, President Pann Ghill Suh) announced on Mar. 4 that its research team led by principal researcher Yoichi Kosodo has developed a technology to mass produce cerebral cortex neurons utilizing ...


Discovery of the genetic 'conductor' of brain stem cells

Our brain comprises 85 billion nerve cells and just as many so-called glial cells, which work in close contact with the former to guarantee their proper function. All originate from brain stem cells. But what decides when ...

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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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