Exam 4 Review:  Chapter 12:  Functional Areas of the Cerebral Cortex

 

functional areas (of cerebral cortex) - The general classification of regions of the cerebral cortex by main function; there are three types of functional areas:  (1) sensory areas which receive and interpret somatic sensory impulses including cutaneous sensations, the five special senses, and some aspects of proprioception (however, little visceral sensory information is routed to the cortex), (2) association areas which integrate sensory information with emotional states, memories, learning and rational thought processes, and, (3) motor areas which generate impulses which innervate voluntary skeletal muscles.

 

sensory areas - Specific areas of the cerebral cortex which receive and interpret somatic sensory impulses, e.g., olfaction in the frontal lobe, cutaneous sensations in the parietal lobe, visual sensations in the occipital lobe, taste, hearing, and equilibrium in the temporal lobe; visceral sensory impulses are received and interpreted in the diencephalon, cerebellum, and brain stem.

 

motor areas - Specific areas of the cerebral cortex, diencephalon, cerebellum, brain stem and spinal cord which generate impulses which innervate all effectors in the body, e.g., voluntary skeletal muscles, involuntary muscles, and glands, both endocrine and exocrine.

 

association areas - Specific areas of the cerebral cortex which integrate sensory information with emotional states, memories, learning and rational thought processes.

 

primary motor cortex (precentral gyrus of frontal lobe) - The location, just anterior to the central sulcus in the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex, of the gray matter motor neurons which initiate impulses routed through the medulla and spinal cord which represent the conscious voluntary commands to the prime movers of skeletal muscle groups for specific actions; it is highly organized with specific regions representing each part of the body.

 


primary sensory cortex (postcentral gyrus of parietal lobe) - The location, just posterior to the central sulcus in the parietal lobe of the cerebral cortex, of the somatic sensory neurons which receive impulses routed through the thalamus, medulla and spinal cord which respond with the first conscious perceptions/awareness of cutaneous sensations arriving from stimulated receptors in the skin and subcutaneous tissues; it is highly organized with specific regions representing each part of the body.


frontal eye field - A specific motor area within the frontal cortex which controls the voluntary scanning movements of the eyes, such as tracking a bird in flight, by sending impulses to the extrinsic muscles of the eyes.

 


limbic system - A group of interconnected subcortical structures, (e.g., the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, and the amygdala) involved in olfaction, emotion, motivation, behavior, and various autonomic functions.

 

List

4. The three fundamental categories of functional area of the cerebral cortex.

 

        sensory areas -- motor areas -- association areas

 


Interesting Factoids:

A few neurological differences between women and men from Louann Brizendine's "The Female Brain" (2006):

Thoughts about sex enter women's brains once every couple of days; for men, thoughts about sex occur every minute.

Women use 20,000 words per day; men use 7,000 per day.

Women excel at knowing what people are feeling; men have difficulty spotting an emotion unless someone cries or threatens bodily harm.

Women remember fights that a man insists never happened.

Women over 50 are more likely to initiate divorce.