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The brain has a unique appearance that consists of many folds with twists, grooves or crevices. A brain fold is known as a gyrus, while a depression is called a groove or fissure.
The cerebral cortex contains numerous convolutions that are surrounded by one or more grooves. The convolutions and grooves give the brain its wrinkled appearance. The cerebral cortex is the most developed area of the brain and is responsible for the higher brain functions, such as thinking, planning and decision making.
- 1 Role and groove function
- 2 The furrows or cerebral fissures
- 3 Brain convolutions
Role of convolutions and grooves
The convolutions and the cerebral grooves fulfill two very important functions, these folds help increase the surface of the cerebral cortex. This allows more neurons to accumulate in the cortex and therefore increases the brain's ability to process information.
Spins and grooves also form brain divisions creating boundaries between the lobes of the brain and dividing the brain into two hemispheres. In turn, the cerebral cortex is divided into four lobes. The frontal lobes are found in the most forward region of the cerebral cortex. The parietal lobes and the temporal lobes lie behind the frontal lobes, with the parietal lobes located above the temporal lobes. Finally the occipital lobes are located in the posterior region of the cerebral cortex. Each of these brain lobes is responsible for several important functions. The frontal lobes are vital for motor control, thinking and reasoning. The parietal lobes process sensory information, while the occipital lobes are the main centers for visual processing. The temporal lobes are important for the production of language and speech, as well as for the processing of memory and emotion.
The grooves or cerebral fissures
Below is a list of several key grooves in the brain.
- Interhemispheric (medial longitudinal fissure): It is a deep groove in the center of the brain that separates the left and right cerebral hemispheres. The corpus callosum is within this fissure.
- Central groove (Rolando fissure): It is a fissure that separates the parietal and frontal lobes.
- Lateral groove (Silvio fissure): It is a deep groove that separates the parietal and temporal lobes. This fissure separates the fusiform gyrus and the hippocampal gyrus on the inferior surface of the temporal lobes.
- Parietooccipital groove: This is a deep crack that separates the parietal and occipital lobes.
- Calcarino groove: This groove is located in the occipital lobes and divides the visual cortex in two.
A series of important convolutions of the brain are listed below.
- Angular Circumvolution: It is a fold located in the parietal lobe that helps in auditory and visual processing, as well as in language comprehension.
- Borca or Borca area: area of the brain located in the left frontal lobe in most people who control motor functions related to speech production.
- Cingulate turn: an arc-shaped fold in the brain located over the corpus callosum. It is a component of the limbic system and processes sensory information related to emotions and regulates aggressive behavior.
- Fusiform turn: localized gyrus in the temporal and occipital lobes consisting of parts: lateral and medial. It is believed to play a role in facial and word recognition.
- Hippocampal turn (Parahippocampal turn): It is a fold that is located on the inner surface of the temporal lobe that borders the hippocampus. The hippocampus gyrus surrounds the hippocampus and plays an important role in memory.
- Lingual turn: the gyrus of the occipital lobe that is involved in visual processing. This gyrus is surrounded by the calcarino groove and the lateral groove. The lingual gyrus is contiguous with the parahypocampic gyrus and together they form the medial portion of the fusiform gyrus.
The convolutions and fissures are very important parts of the central nervous system (CNS). The folds of the cerebral cortex create these twists and grooves that serve to separate the brain regions and increase cognitive ability.