Surface Contours

Order or Chaos?
  • Louise H. Marshall
  • Horace W. Magoun
Chapter

Abstract

The morphology of the mammalian spinal cord and brain-stem nuclei does not vary substantially among species except in size. In contrast, the surface of the cerebrum and cerebellum differ conspicuously from species to species and to a lesser degree among individuals ofthe same species. This variation in neocortical surface configuration is conferred by the arrangement of convolutions (gyri) separated by fissures (sulci). When it was recognized that the intelligent animal species possess complex brains with more convolutions and deeper sulci than do species of less intelligence, the question arose of how this came about. Was the convoluted folding a result of mechanical factors generated from fitting an enlarging cortical surface into a cranial box of relatively fixed size (“the most economical use of space”), or were there diverse functional associations that governed the directions in which the brain increased in size?

Keywords

Human Brain Brain Surface Surface Contour Sylvian Fissure Central Sulcus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louise H. Marshall
    • 1
  • Horace W. Magoun
    • 1
  1. 1.Brain Research InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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