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Anatomy of the Brain - Cerebral Cortex


Cerebral Cortex

This brain image shows the location of the cerebrum.

Credit: Alan Hoffring/National Cancer Institute

Cerebral Cortex:

The cerebral cortex covers the outer portion (1.5mm to 5mm) of the cerebrum. It is the layer of the brain often referred to as gray matter. The cortex (thin layer of tissue) is gray because nerves in this area lack the insulation that makes most other parts of the brain appear to be white. The cortex also covers the cerebellum.

The cerebrum is the most highly developed part of the human brain and is responsible for thinking, perceiving, producing and understanding language. Most information processing occurs in the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is divided into lobes that each have a specific function.


The cerebral cortex is involved in several functions of the body including:
  • Determining Intelligence
  • Determining Personality
  • Motor Function
  • Planning and Organization
  • Touch Sensation


Directionally, the cerebrum and the cortex that covers it is the uppermost part of the brain. It is superior to other structures such as the pons, cerebellum and medulla oblongata.


More Information:

For additional information on the cerebral cortex, see:

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