Two‐dimensional maps of the cerebral cortex

D. C. van Essen, J. H.R. Maunsell

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278 Scopus citations


A procedure is described for constructing two‐dimensional, unfolded representations of the cerebral cortex. The technique is based on information contained in outlines of histological sections, and it allows an entire hemisphere to be represented on a single cortical map. Maps for different hemispheres from individuals of the same species are similar in size, shape, and organization, and their configuration is largely independent of the plane of sectioning used for reconstruction. Many types of information pertaining to the location and organization of different functional subdivisions can be displayed on cortical maps; representative applications of the technique to mapping cerebral cortex in the macaque and the cat are shown. Areal measurements on cortical maps correspond closely (generally within 20%) to actual surface areas in the intact hemisphere. Therefore, the maps can also be used to provide accurate determinations of the absolute and relative extent of various anatomical and functional subdivisions of the cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-281
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 1980


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