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The Cerebral Cortex 

The Cerebral Cortex
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date: 25 February 2021

Chapter 33 deals with the anatomic organization of the cerebral cortex at two levels. The first concerns information processing in a small volume of cortex. The second concerns the interconnection of different cortical units with long association and commissural fibers, forming task-specific neural networks. The neurons of the neocortex are arranged in six layers with different properties. Further, the cortical neurons are arranged in smaller modules, often in the form of columns. There are two main kinds of cortical neuron: the pyramidal cells with long axons destined for other parts of the cortex or subcortical targets and interneurons (with numerous subtypes) with short axons remaining in the cortical gray matter. The pyramidal cells are glutamatergic while all interneurons are GABAergic. In addition, modulatory transmitters regulate the cortical excitability level. The cortex is divided into cytoarchitectonic areas that differ with regard to connections and functional specializations.

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