BIOLOGY 2C03 Lecture Notes - Cortical Column, Calcarine Sulcus, Parieto-Occipital Sulcus

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28 Jan 2013

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Outline of Lecture 34 (03-03 A; Hendry)
Intro to Cerebral Cortex
I. Cerebral cortex
A) Neuroanatomy of the cortex
- Central sulcus, lateral fissure, parieto-occipital sulcus divide brain into lobes
- Don’t forget the insula and gyri
B) Segregation of function: each lobe performs a specific function
- Primary areas vs. association areas
- Primary visual area is in occipital lobe (banks of calcarine fissure)
- Primary motor area is in frontal lobe (precentral gyrus)
- Primary somatosensory area is in parietal lobe (postcentral gyrus)
- Primary auditory area is in temporal lobe (lower bank of lateral fissure)
- Info from primary areas sent in two directions
1) memory areas in ventral temporal lobe
2) motor planning areas in caudal parietal lobe
C) Definition of a cortical area
- Function: this is the primary determinant of an area
- Connections: define an area based on characteristic connections to other areas, e.g. connections
that give an area its function
- Structure: has been used to divide cortex by number (e.g. by cell and tissue morphology), but this
system has fallen out of favor (except a few numbered regions)
D) Association areas of cerebral cortex
- Prefrontal areas: conscious thought
- Parietal association areas: relation of self to environment (extrapersonal space)
- Visual association areas (rostral occipital lobe): visual analysis
- Speech areas (both on dominant hemisphere)
- Broca’s area: motor speech, inferior precentral gyrus
- Wernicke’s area: sensory speech, parietotemporal junction
E) Layers of cerebral cortex
- Layer 1: remnant of embryonic marginal zone, just ignore it
- Layer 2,3: connections with other cortical areas (cells bigger in layer 3)
- Layer 4: receive input from thalamus, send axons into other layers
- Layer 5: send axons to subcortical targets
- Layer 6: send axons to thalamus
F) Features of cortical circuitry
- All inputs and outputs to and from cortex are excitatory
- Within cortex, 20% of neurons are inhibitory (usually GABA)
- Diffuse inputs to cortex can set overall tone (see Lec 22 – Monoamines
- Cortical column: the fundamental unit required to perform a unique function,
II. Thalamus
- 4 major groups of nuclei: anterior, medial, lateral, ventral
- Internal medullary lamina separates anterior from medial/lateral
- Nomenclature: first part is group, rest of name indicates location in group
- Except: lateral and medial geniculate nuclei are in ventral group!
- Connections to cortex
- Medial group prefrontal cortex
- Anterior group cingulate gyrus
- Ventral group primary sensory and motor cortex
- Lateral group parietal, temporal, occipital cortex
Summary of major points
- None, but have to know this stuff to understand rest of course
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