Intro | Amygdala | Brainstem | Cerebellum | Cerebrum | Corpus Callosum | Reticular Formation | Hippocampus | Hypothalamus | Medulla | Pituitary Gland | Pons | Spinal Cord | Thalamus

Part 1: Image-Mapped Tutorial
Part 2: Matching Self-Test
Part 3: Multiple-Choice Self-Test

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The Cerebrum (brain) composes the upper portion of the forebrain. It includes the cerebral cortex (gray matter covering), the outer, convoluted or wrinkled region of the cerebrum and underlying white matter. The cerebrum is divided into two hemispheres (left and right) that are almost mirror images of each other in physical appearance but not function (Figure 11). Each cerebral hemisphere is divided into lobes that are named by the skull bones that overlie them. The hemispheres are separated by a deep fissure or indentation and connected by a deep bridge called the Corpus Callosum. The cerebral cortex is composed of neuronal cell bodies or somas (grey matter), and the corpus callosum of neuronal fibers or axons (white matter). The cerebrum is concerned with higher brain functions, processing of sensory information, and the initiation of movement. Most of our memories are stored in the cerebral cortex, which uses this information for solving problems. The processes underlying intelligence and personality are also located in the cerebrum.


The surface of the cerebrum is imprinted with numerous ridges or convolutions called gyri. These gyri are separated by grooves; the shallow ones are called sulci and very deep ones are called fissures. The sulci serve as boundaries for the lobes of the cerebrum, the frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes. The human cerebral cortex contains up to six layers of neuronal cell bodies separated by layers of fibers. Cortical cells are also organized into columns that are oriented perpendicular to the layers. Maps of the cerebral cortex based on differences in the appearance and functioning of these layers and columns have been helpful in organizing our understanding of the structure-function relationships of the cerebrum.