Chapter

The Cognitive System

Larry W. Swanson

in Brain Architecture

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195378580
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965120 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780195378580.003.1098
The Cognitive System

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The cerebral cortex is the organ of thought and the cerebrum with its superficial cortex and deep nuclei is the core of the cognitive system for the voluntary control of behavior. The cerebral cortex itself is clearly regionalized into a number of distinct areas on the basis of cellular architecture, connections, and function, although the precise number and identity of these regions remain controversial. Functionally they divide into sensory areas, polymodal association areas, and motor areas, and they are interrelated by association connections (on one side of the brain) and commissural connections (between right and left sides). The outputs of the cerebral cortex are directed caudally to all other major divisions of the central nervous system and especially to the motor and sensory systems. These outputs are extensive, complex, and topographically organized. The closest output is to the cerebral nuclei, and specifically to the entire striatal division, which in turn sends a caudally directed output to the entire pallidal division of the cerebral nuclei and to the motor system. Thus, the cognitive system (cerebral hemisphere) has an interconnected, triple, caudally directed projection to the motor system to control voluntary behavior.

Chapter.  6791 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

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