Definitions

Cuneus

Cuneus

[kyoo-nee-uhs]
Cuneus (Latin for "wedge"; plural, cunei) is also the architectural term applied to the wedge-shaped divisions of the Roman theatre separated by the scalae or stairways; see Vitruvius v. 4.
The cuneus is a portion of the human brain in the occipital lobe.

The cuneus (Brodmann area 17) receives visual information from the contralateral superior retina representing the inferior visual field. It is most known for its involvement in basic visual processing. Pyramidal cells in the cuneus (striate cortex) project to extrastriate corticies (BA 18,19). The mid-level visual processing that occurs in the extrastriate projection fields of the cuneus are modulated by extraretinal effects, like attention, working memory, and reward expectation.

In addition to its traditional role as a site for basic visual processing, gray matter volume in the cuneus is associated with better inhibitory control in bipolar depression patients (Haldane et al, J Neuropsychopharmacology, 2008). Pathologic gamblers have higher activity in the dorsal visual processing stream including the cuneus relative to controls (Crockford et al Biological Psychiatry 2005). Furthermore, the cuneus may apparently be involved in "the control of human urinary functions as well as in dogs."

External links

  • http://www.univie.ac.at/anatomie2/plastinatedbrain/surfaceanatomy/surface-med-text.html

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