Medical Definition of Neocortex

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

Neocortex: The newer portion of the cerebral cortex that serves as the center of higher mental functions for humans. The neocortex contains some 100 billion cells, each with 1,000 to 10,000 synapses (connections), and has roughly 100 million meters of wiring, all packed into a structure the size and thickness of a formal dinner napkin. The cells in the neocortex are arranged in six layers, within which different regions permit vision, hearing, touch, the sense of balance, movement, emotional responses and every other feat of cognition.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018