Glossary

cerebral cortex The surface of the forebrain.

heteromodal cortex Neocortical area that is interconnected with association areas serving different sensory modalities.

large-scale network A set of interconnected areas that mediates a specific mental function.

paralimbic areas Cytoarchitectonically transitional areas that are interconnected with the amygdala and hippocampus.

transmodal areas Collective term for all heteromodal, paralimbic, and limbic cortices.

unimodal cortex Neocortical area devoted to the processing of a single sensory modality.

The cerebral cortex of the human brain contains approximately 20 billion neurons spread over nearly 2000 square centimeters of surface area. There is no universal agreement on terminology, no distinct boundaries that demarcate one region from another, and, inmost instances, no clear correspondence among lobar designations, traditional topographic landmarks, cytoarchitectonic boundaries, and behavioral specializations. One part of the brain can have more

This article is adapted from Chapter 1 of Principles of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology (M.-M. Mesulam, Ed), pp. 1-120. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 2000.

than one descriptive name, and cytoarchitectonic (striate cortex), functional (primary visual cortex), topographic (calcarine cortex), and eponymic (Brodmann area 17) terms can be used interchangeably to designate the same area. The purpose of this article is to provide an introductory guide for navigating the human cerebral cortex from the vantage point of functional specializations.

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