Sulcus (neuroanatomy)

Sulcus (neuroanatomy)

In neuroanatomy, a sulcus (Latin: "furrow", pl. "sulci") is a depression or fissure in the surface of the brain. It surrounds the gyri, creating the characteristic appearance of the brain in humans and other large mammals.

Large furrows (sulci) that divide the brain into lobes are often called "fissures". The large furrow that divides the two hemispheres - the interhemispheric fissure - is very rarely called a "sulcus".

Individual variation

The sulcal pattern varies between human individuals, and the most elaborate overview on this variation is probably an atlas by Ono, Kubick and Abernathey: "Atlas of the Cerebral Sulci" [Ono, Kubick, Abernathey, "Atlas of the Cerebral Sulci", Thieme Medical Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-86577-362-9. ISBN 3-13-732101-8.] .Some of the larger sulci are, however, seen across individuals - and even species - so it is possible to establish a nomenclature.

Gyrification across species

The variation in the amount of fissures in the brain (gyrification) between species is more related to the overall size of the animal rather than the encephalization. That is, large animals have many sulci::" [L] arge rodents such as beavers (40 pounds) and capybaras (150 pounds) have many more sulci than smaller rodents such as rats and mice - but also more fissures than smaller monkeys" [Martin I. Sereno, Roger B. H. Tootell, "From Monkeys to humans: what do we now know about brain homologies," "Current Opinion in Neurobiology" 15:135-144, (2005).] .

Notable sulci

* Lateral sulcus, "lat". sulcus lateralis with 3 branches: ramus ascendens, ramus anterior, and ramus posterior
* Central sulcus, "lat". sulcus centralis
* Postcentral sulcus, "lat". sulcus postcentralis
* Precentral sulcus, "lat". sulcus praecentralis
* Cingulate sulcus, "lat". sulcus cinguliSubcallosal sulcus, "lat". sulcus corporis callosi
* Superior frontal sulcus, "lat". sulcus frontalis superior
* Inferior frontal sulcus, "lat". sulcus frontalis inferiorSuperior temporal sulcus, "lat". sulcus temporalis superior

Inferior temporal sulcus, "lat". sulcus temporalis inferior

Parieto-occipital sulcus, "lat". sulcus parietoocipitalis

Intraparietal sulcus, "lat". sulcus intraparietalis

Collateral sulcus, "lat". sulcus collateralis

Calcarine sulcus, "lat". sulcus calcarinus


A macaque has a more simple sulcal pattern. In a monograph Bonin and Bailey list the following as the primary sulci [Gerhardt von Bonin, Percival Bailey, "The Neocortex of Macaca Mulatta", The University of Illinois Press, Urbana, Illinois, 1947] :
* Calcarine fissure (ca)
* Central sulcus (ce)
* Sulcus cinguli (ci)
* Hippocampal fissure (h)
* Sulcus intraparitalis (ip)
* Lateral fissure (or Sylvian fissure) (la)
* Sulcus olfactorius (olf)
* Medial parieto-occipital fissure (pom)
* fissura rhinalis (rh)
* Sulcus temporalis superior (ts) - this sulcus runs parallel to the lateral fissure and extends to the temporal pole and often superficially merges with it.

ee also

* Sulcus (anatomy)


External links

* [ Visual explanation of gyri, sulci, and fissures]

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