Cortical Organization

When neuroscientists use the term cortex, they usually refer to the neocortex of mammals. This neocortex is part of the outer shell or bark of the forebrain that was thought to be a new structure that evolved with mammals. Now it is widely accepted that the neocortex of mammals is the same structure as the dorsal cortex of reptiles. However, the dorsal cortex is much smaller and simpler in laminar organization than the neocortex is. Thus, the neocortex is new, in the sense that all mammals have a more complexly laminated and functionally subdivided cortex than do reptiles. Although some use the term isocortex for neocortex, the term neocortex is almost universally used.

When we look at the human brain, most of what we see is ...

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