Preliminaries: Brain Areas

Let’s talk about the areas of the brain and some of their functions.  I will start with a structural overview, and then dive into functionality.  If there is something that seems unfamiliar and isn’t bold, try reading this previous post.

The cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem make up the brain.  For our purposes, we will focus on the structural areas in the cerebrum.  The external part of the cerebrum  is the cerebral cortex (sometimes referred to as the cortex).  The cortex is the large, white part of the brain with grooves in Figure 1 (this is the part that most people think of when imagining the brain).  Some subcortical structures, not pictured in Figure 1, are directly below the cortex and are also considered a part of the cerebrum.  Subcortical simply means “below the cortex”, so the brain stem and cerebellum are subcortical structures, but are not part of the cerebrum.

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Preliminaries: Axes and Planes in the Brain

Neuroscience papers refer to several different features about the brain.  Sometimes, they refer to a specific fold, broad area, or certain type of direction.  A general knowledge of the following terms and areas will be the first step to reading and understanding neuroscience literature.   Here we will deal with the axes and planes in the brain.

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