Jump to content

NEOCORTEX and CEREBRAL CORTEX WHat do they actually do?


Recommended Posts

I am a bit confused about all of this neocortex and cerebral cortex stuff.

 

Not that I am an idiot or anything, it's just that I can't sift out the confusing signals of whats garbage and whats actual fact.

 

I heard the neocortex is responsible for love, learning, empathy, and memory. How much of this is true? I also heard it was part of the "Thinking brain".

 

Cerebral cortex- What exactly does it do? I also hear it deals with "Higher brain functions". Which means exactly what?

 

Just a few questions.

 

Oh yes and if you ever developed a drug that enhanced or "Grew" the neocortex I would probably pay an arm and a leg for it.

 

Think, girls would love you because you'd be super empathic, You would learn super fast so you would be a big education buff, and your life would be happy because you would always love.

 

Just some thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh yes and what effect does testosterone have on the neocortex and the Cerebral Cortex? and what side of the brain is the neocortex on and what side of the brain is the cerebral cortex on?

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The cerebral cortex and the neo cortex are the same thing. The cerebral cortex is the outer layer of the brain. It consists of 6 cell layers. It was that last part of the brain to evolve, hence the term 'neocortex'. The cortex covers the whole brain, not one side or the other. It is the crinkley surface that you see in pictures of the brain (many convolutions; gyri and sulci).

 

The cortex is associated with 'higher' functions; consciousness, language understanding and production, cognition, abstraction, problem solving, motor and sensory integration and so-on. Things like love and empathy are more likely to be associated with the limbic regions, which are considered the 'emotional core' of the brain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 years later...
  • 4 months later...
The cerebral cortex and the neo cortex are the same thing. The cerebral cortex is the outer layer of the brain. It consists of 6 cell layers. It was that last part of the brain to evolve, hence the term 'neocortex'. The cortex covers the whole brain, not one side or the other. It is the crinkley surface that you see in pictures of the brain (many convolutions; gyri and sulci).

 

The cortex is associated with 'higher' functions; consciousness, language understanding and production, cognition, abstraction, problem solving, motor and sensory integration and so-on. Things like love and empathy are more likely to be associated with the limbic regions, which are considered the 'emotional core' of the brain.

 

Would it be possiable to enlarge the neocortext? Or have people been found to have larger ones? As well have increased skill in thinking as well abstact thinking?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Size isn't really important. It's convolution of the cortex and density (and number) of neural connections within it that matter.

 

If cortex size was all that mattered, then blue whales would be WAY smarter than humans.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would it be possiable to enlarge the neocortext? Or have people been found to have larger ones? As well have increased skill in thinking as well abstact thinking?

 

Evolution came up with all sorts of novel strategies for enlarging the neocortex. Most notably, our craniums are made of plates which at birth overlap, allowing our large heads to pass through the birth canal of a woman which was also limited by constraints like "can I still run fast enough to escape predators?" After birth, our skulls fuse, giving our brains more room to grow.

 

The neocortex has a comparatively lower neuron density than structures like the cerebellum because large parts of its volume are eaten up by the connections between neurons. The neurons (e.g. "pyramidal cells") of the neocortex are quite physically large themselves, but in terms of overall neuron count parts of the brain like the cerebellum have it beaten.

 

So it really depends on what you want to make "bigger": you could add more fat and have more volume, but that's not going to count. More neurons and more connections between them could have interesting benefits, but right now those are hard things to "adjust" and the variability between individual humans isn't terribly large.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

***Oh yes and if you ever developed a drug that enhanced or "Grew" the neocortex I would probably pay an arm and a leg for it.

 

No need for drugs. The most effective way to enhance your neocortex is to exercise it. Learn lots, from a variety of different subjects. Learn a musical instrument, and practice it (or them) regularly. Exercise, especially in activities that require more thought and coordination (less running, more dancing).

 

It wouldn't help to have more neurons if they weren't connected up and used. Simply growing more cortex would be like adding another gigabyte of memory to a computer that only runs MS-DOS: there, but not useful for anything.

 

Think, girls would love you because you'd be super empathic, You would learn super fast so you would be a big education buff, and your life would be happy because you would always love.

 

Doesn't sound like the girls I grew up with :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

iNow and bascule, I see what you're saying. So to edit my question then: What if a person had increased density, more convolution of the cortex, an neuron connection (would this be the folds and creases of the cortex too) how would you see in a difference in there thinking? Also how would you test for this?

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, from what I recall, the biggest difference would be in reaction time and cognitive processing speeds. Also, just hands down knowledge level. The more neural connections, the more interconnected the knowledge web (I'm sort of making up terms here, so I apologize... I'm tired, and it's been about a decade since I opened a textbook on this stuff), the faster you can process information, and the quicker you can arrive at solutions... plus, those solutions tend to be more robust.

 

GDG nailed it when he said you just have to practice... read a lot... do challenging physical activity often... engage in debate and increase your critical thinking skills by reading and posting here at SFN (that's what I do, at least... it helps keep me sharp and my mind crisp).

 

For tests, you'd need to use some sort of imaging system for the brain, such as those I listed in my previous post. You'd want to first establish a baseline... The point from which you started... then do your exercise, activity, and "mental training." Then, later on, repeat the same tests and look for the differences (bear in mind, I'm talking time scales of years here, not days or weeks). You'd want to do everything you could to control for things like diet and exercise (so eat and workout the same from start to finish, no major changes) so that way any differences can be more probably isolated to the learning activities in which you engaged.

 

Anyway... those are just a few thoughts off the top of my head. It's a really fascinating field, and they learn new stuff every day. I'd venture to guess that most of my knowledge on the topic is pretty outdated, but much of the foundational stuff will never change. Cheers, enjoy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would it be possiable to enlarge the neocortext? Or have people been found to have larger ones? As well have increased skill in thinking as well abstact thinking?

 

Just to add in another dimension, the corpus callosum, the thick band of neurons which connects the two hemispheres and relays information from one side to the other, is essential to integrative and complex cognitive activity.

 

Relatively little is known about this region, but it would seem that more intense and novel cognitive challenges benefit from a thicker corpus callosum. Whether this is cause and effect or associative is unknown (i.e., does more intense thinking increases the size of the cc or do those who otherwise develop a large cc enjoy more intense cognitive challenges).

 

Read up on studies of split-brain patients. That is some weird stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to add in another dimension, the corpus callosum, the thick band of neurons which connects the two hemispheres and relays information from one side to the other, is essential to integrative and complex cognitive activity.

 

Relatively little is known about this region, but it would seem that more intense and novel cognitive challenges benefit from a thicker corpus callosum. Whether this is cause and effect or associative is unknown (i.e., does more intense thinking increases the size of the cc or do those who otherwise develop a large cc enjoy more intense cognitive challenges).

 

Read up on studies of split-brain patients. That is some weird stuff.

 

On the other hand, you find savants like Kim Peek, who have no corpus callosum at all...

 

Interestingly, some research has shown that a number of brain areas have inhibitory functions, and that if you inhibit the inhibitors in a subject (e.g., using fMRI), the subject can exhibit savant-like behavior, like instant calculation or perfect pitch. As if we're driving around with one foot on the accelerator, and the other foot on the brake all the time...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.