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Brodmann area

File:Brodmann areas 3D.png
Brodmann areas 3D

A Brodmann area is a region of the cerebral cortex, in the human or other primate brain, defined by its cytoarchitecture, or histological structure and organization of cells.


File:1307 Brodmann Areas.jpg
A number of important Brodmann areas have been marked out on this brain.

Brodmann areas were originally defined and numbered by the German anatomist Korbinian Brodmann based on the cytoarchitectural organization of neurons he observed in the cerebral cortex using the Nissl method of cell staining. Brodmann published his maps of cortical areas in humans, monkeys, and other species in 1909,[1] along with many other findings and observations regarding the general cell types and laminar organization of the mammalian cortex. The same Brodmann area number in different species does not necessarily indicate homologous areas.[2] A similar, but more detailed cortical map was published by Constantin von Economo and Georg N. Koskinas in 1925.[3]

Present importance

Brodmann areas have been discussed, debated, refined, and renamed exhaustively for nearly a century and remain the most widely known and frequently cited cytoarchitectural organization of the human cortex.

Many of the areas Brodmann defined based solely on their neuronal organization have since been correlated closely to diverse cortical functions. For example, Brodmann areas 1, 2 and 3 are the primary somatosensory cortex; area 4 is the primary motor cortex; area 17 is the primary visual cortex; and areas 41 and 42 correspond closely to primary auditory cortex. Higher order functions of the association cortical areas are also consistently localized to the same Brodmann areas by neurophysiological, functional imaging, and other methods (e.g., the consistent localization of Broca's speech and language area to the left Brodmann areas 44 and 45). However, functional imaging can only identify the approximate localization of brain activations in terms of Brodmann areas since their actual boundaries in any individual brain requires its histological examination.

Brodmann areas for humans and other primates

(*) Area only found in non-human primates.

Some of the original Brodmann areas have been subdivided further, e.g., "23a" and "23b".[5]

Clickable map: lateral surface

Note: the lateral view, or side view, of the brain is denoted the 'lateral surface'

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Clickable map: medial surface

Note: the view of the section between the right and left hemispheres of the brain is denoted the 'medial surface'

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When von Bonin and Bailey constructed a brain map for the macaque monkey they found the description of Brodmann inadequate and wrote: "Brodmann (1907), it is true, prepared a map of the human brain which has been widely reproduced, but, unfortunately, the data on which it was based was never published"[6] They instead used the cytoarchitechtonic scheme of Constantin von Economo and Georg N. Koskinas published in 1925[3] which had the "only acceptable detailed description of the human cortex".

See also


  1. ^ Brodmann K (1909). "Vergleichende Lokalisationslehre der Grosshirnrinde" (in Deutsch). Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth. [page needed]
  2. ^ Garey LJ. (2006). Brodmann's Localisation in the Cerebral Cortex. New York: Springer. ISBN 978-0387-26917-7. [page needed]
  3. ^ a b Economo, C., Koskinas, G.N. (1925). "Die Cytoarchitektonik der Hirnrinde des erwachsenen Menschen" (in Deutsch). Wien & Berlin: Springer. [page needed]
  4. ^ Fales CL, Barch DM, Rundle MM, Mintun MA, Snyder AZ, Cohen JD, Mathews J, Sheline YI (February 2008). "Altered emotional interference processing in affective and cognitive-control brain circuitry in major depression". Biol. Psychiatry 63 (4): 377–84. PMC 2268639. PMID 17719567. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2007.06.012. 
  5. ^ Brent A. Vogt, Deepak N. Pandya, Douglas L. Rosene (August 1987). "Cingulate Cortex of the Rhesus Monkey: I. Cytoarchitecture and Thalamic Afferents". The Journal of Comparative Neurology 262 (2): 256–270. PMID 3624554. doi:10.1002/cne.902620207. 
  6. ^ Gerhardt von Bonin & Percival Bailey (1925). The Neocortex of Macaca Mulatta (PDF). Urbana, Illinois: The University of Illinois Press. 

External links

  • [1] - Brodmann Areas, their functions, and the lateralization of functions across hemispheres
  • brodmann x func – Functional categorization of Brodmann areas.
  • Brodmann, Mark Dubin pages on Brodmann areas.
  • Brodmann areas Brodmann areas of cortex involved in language.
  • Illustrations More Illustrations.
  • 3D Brain Explorer