The cerebral cortex, which is divided into right and left hemispheres, encompasses about two-thirds of the human brain mass and lies over and around most of the remaining structures of the brain. It is the most highly developed part of the human brain and is responsible for thinking, perceiving, and producing and understanding language. It is also the most recent structure in the history of brain evolution.
The cerebral cortex can be divided into areas that each have a specific function (Figure 3). For example, there are specific areas involved in vision, hearing, touch, movement, and smell. Other areas are critical for thinking and reasoning. Although many functions, such as touch, are found in both the right and left cerebral hemispheres, some functions are found in only one cerebral hemisphere. For example, in most people, language abilities are found in the left hemisphere.
Source: NIDA (NIH)1
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Cerebral Cortex: The thin layer of Gray Matter on the surface of the Cerebral Hemispheres that develops from the Telencephalon and folds into gyri and sulchi. It reaches its highest development in humans and is responsible for intellectual faculties and higher mental functions.2
Read about these related anatomy topics:
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- Source: NIDA (NIH): teens.drugabuse.gov/ teachers/ mind-over-matter/ teachers-guide
- Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
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