The Cerebral Cortex

The cerebral cortex is a thin, flat sheet of cells at the outer surface of the brain. Understanding the development of this part of the brain is important for understanding psychological development, as it is

FIGURE 1

View of the Left Side of the Brain Showing the Four Lobes

SOURCE: Mark H. Johnson and Michelle de Haan.

thought that the cortex underlies humans' complex intellectual abilities. The cortex is divided into four lobes: the occipital, parietal, temporal, and frontal lobes, as illustrated in Figure 1. In all of these lobes the cortex consists of six layers of cells, and each of the six layers is made up of particular types of cells and connections to and from other cells. In adults, the cortical lobes can be divided even further into areas that specialize in different functions, such as language and movement.

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