What is the Cerebral Cortex?

DEFINE – What is the Cerebral Cortex?

The cerebral cortex is the outermost neural tissue layer of the brain.

BREAKING DOWN – The cerebral cortex

The cerebral cortex is gray matter that is about 1.5 to 5 millimeters thick. It covers the entire brain, or cerebrum. It’s referred to as ‘gray’ matter since it appears darker and lacks certain structures that make the other part of the brain ‘white.’ Over 14 billion neurons reside in this area of the brain.

Surprisingly, the cerebral cortex comprises two-thirds of the brain’s total mass. It has small folds and bulges called ‘gyri,’ with deep fissures called ‘sulci.’ These folds increase the brain’s surface area, allowing more information to be processed at one time. 

This part of the brain is responsible for information processing, including thinking, producing, understanding, and perceiving. It also determines your personality, intelligence, motor functioning, planning, sensations, and processing of language. In fact, the cerebral cortex has both sensory and motor areas.

Sensory information is received by the cerebral cortex from the thalamus. This information is then processed in the cerebral cortex. In terms of motor areas, the primary motor area and the premotor cortex help process this information in the cerebral cortex.

A variety of different disorders may occur to or in the cerebral cortex. For instance, if there is damage in the parietal lobe portion of the cerebral cortex, a person may have trouble writing or may be unable to write at all. This is called ‘agraphia.’ ‘Ataxia’ may further result from damage to the cerebral cortex when motor processing is affected. Injury or trauma to this area of the brain has also been associated with problems making decisions, depression, decreased impulse control, attention issues, and memory problems.

If you experience a brain injury or damage to the cerebral cortex, your physician or medical practitioner may eventually recommend that your rehabilitation includes massage or chiropractic care. In that case, our team at Athlete’s Choice Massage is ready to help you heal and recover. Click BOOK NOW below to schedule an appointment with our team. Your comfort is our top priority and we always put our clients first.

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