Cortical area

Cortical area

A cortical area is a part of the cerebral cortex.

Functionally Defined

Often, a cortical area is functionally defined, i.e. its neurons share certain distinguishing functional properties. For example, they are activated by the same category of stimuli or seem to be involved in similar cognitive tasks, that are different from the stimuli or tasks that activate neurons in the neighboring areas.

Anatomically Defined

Alternatively, cortical areas can be defined histo-anatomically, like the Brodmann areas. In some cases, both types of definition yield identical areas. An example is the primary visual cortex, or V1, which is identical to Brodmann area 17.

Connections between Areas

Connections between cortical areas can be direct (cortico-cortical) or indirect (e.g. via the thalamus or basal ganglia).

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