Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Neurons in the Cerebral Cortex

  • Matthew ChasonEmail author
  • Richard Holler
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_357-1



The outermost layer of the brain, the cerebral cortex, consists of billions of brain cells or neurons that compose perplexing neuronal networks that are associated with humans’ higher-order cognitive functioning.


Ever since the appearance of mammals around two hundred million years ago, the cerebral cortex has gained an insurmountable reputation as the most significant brain region (Robert 2002). The cerebral cortex, or the outer layer of neural tissue of the brain, has grown for as long as natural selection favored its expansion. The cerebral cortex plays a leading role in many higher-order cognitive processes such as memory, attention, thought, language, perception, awareness, and consciousness, which are all hypothesized to have been evolutionarily advantageous among humans.

The Mammalian Brain

Mammals are generally born with the most...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State University of New York at New PaltzNew PaltzUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Haley Dillon
    • 1
  1. 1.Dominican CollegeOrangeburgUSA