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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 6 - Nervous Tissue

Plate 6.84 Cerebral Cortex

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed

Postcentral gyrus cell layering

Plate 6.84 Cerebral Cortex

Rhesus monkey, 10% formalin, Bodian* silver, 49 x.

Lamination is a major characteristic of cortical structure. Six horizontal laminae distinguish the neocortex. Laminae are differentiated by the type, density, and arrangement of cells. The six laminae seen in this plate are, from the surface of the cortex to the white matter, as follows.

I-Molecular layer or plexiform layer: Contains few cells and a rich nerve fiber plexus made up of axons and dendrites of cells in other laminae as well as cells in this lamina.

II-External granular layer: Closely packed small neurons.

III-External pyramidal layer: Composed mainly of pyramidal neurons and many granule cells and cells of Martinotti.*

IV-Internal granular layer: Composed chiefly of stellate cells that are closely packed.

V-Internal pyramidal or ganglionic layer: Consists of medium-sized and large pyramidal cells intermingled with granule cells.

VI-Multiform layer or layer of fusiform cells: Contains a variety of cell types.

White matter: Contains incoming and outgoing nerve fibers.

*Bodian is a twentieth-century American neuroanatomist and Martinotti (1857-1928) was an Italian physician.

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