Our brain is a large and complex group of organs, made up of different structures which fulfill different functions in the organism. The most visible of all of them is the most external and developed in the human being, allowing their existence from the processing of information from the senses to the implementation of complex cognitive abilities: the cerebral cortex.
But the cerebral cortex does not have the same structure in all its surface nor does it have the same functions in all its points. This has led to imaginary divisions that limit different regions of the cortex in the face of the study. And among all the existing ones, the most known and used is that of the Brodmann areas.
A map with the parts of the cerebral cortex
Brodmann areas are called the set of imaginary divisions in which the cerebral cortex can be divided and which allows the identification of specific regions of the brain.
This division was proposed by the psychiatrist Korbinian Brodmann in 1909, not being random divisions but based on the existence of differences in the composition, structure and disposition of cells in different areas of the cortex.
The objective of the author was to generate a topographic classification from the study of anatomical characteristics, focusing for it on the cytoarchitectonic and generating spatial divisions of the cortex to elaborate theory and to apply it in the field of pathology. The studies were conducted with a large number of animal species, but only describe in detail the human brain and that of other apes.
In the case of the human being, Brodmann made a division in a total of 47 zones or areas, although some of them can subdivide to form a total of 52.
The areas of Brodmann are currently a classification of brain areas more known and used worldwide, having allowed to make a mapping of the brain and being very useful at the time both to investigate specific regions and when to direct and perform different medical interventions
The different areas of Brodmann
In the original classification, Brodmann divided the cerebral cortex into up to 47 different areas. Specifically, we can find the following areas.
Area 1 of Brodmann
Brodmann area 1 can be found just after the central groove or Rolando’s sulcus. It is part of the primary somatosensory area and works with somesthetic information from the body.
Area 2 of Brodmann
This area is also part of the primary somatosensory cortex, possessing the same functions as the previous one.
Area 3 of Brodmann
Together with the previous two, it is part of the primary somatosensory cortex. It also collects and processes information about the state and somesthetic sensations such as touch or proprioception.
Area 4 of Brodmann
This brain area corresponds to a great extent with the primary motor area, being of great importance when sending to the skeletal muscles the order to contract or dilate.
Area 5 of Brodmann
This area of Brodmann is part of the secondary somatosensory area, contributing to the processing of somesthetic information.
Area 6 of Brodmann
Region in which the premotor area is located, thanks to which we can plan our movements before realizing them and in which several basic movement programs are stored.
Area 7 of Brodmann
Like area 5, area 7 is part of the secondary somatosensory cortex, helping to process and integrate information from the primary somatosensory cortex. It allows the recognition of stimuli by capturing and allowing the comprehension of their general characteristics.
Area 8 of Brodmann
It is part of the secondary motor cortex, in this case having special relevance in the movement of the muscles that control the eyes.
Area 9 of Brodmann
This area is part of the prefrontal, specifically being in it the dorsolateral prefrontal. Closely linked to executive functions and a sense of self-awareness, she works with aspects such as empathy, memory, attention, processing and emotional management. In part, it is also a tertiary motor area, influencing, for example, verbal fluency.
Area 10 of Brodmann
Like the previous one, it is part of the prefrontal (being its most anterior part) and specifically to the frontopolar region. It is linked to aspects such as planning, introspection, memory and ability to divide attention.
Area 11 of Brodmann
Like 9 and 10, area 11 is an area of tertiary association that is part of the prefrontal, participating in functions and superior cognitive skills. Specifically, it is part of the orbitofrontal region, linked to the management of our social interaction and the management and adaptation of our behavior, inhibiting and controlling, for example, aggression.
Area 12 of Brodmann
This area also includes part of the orbitofrontal, just like the previous one.
Area 13 of Brodmann
This area has the peculiarity that it can be difficult to see at a glance. And it is part of the insula, in its previous part. It helps to coordinate the movements necessary for the language. It also connects the prefrontal and the limbic system, relating to sexual and emotional behavior.
Area 14 of Brodmann
This area has practically the same functions as the previous one, although it is also linked to the processing of olfactory and visceral information.
Area 15 of Brodmann
Linked with the processing of information on blood pressure and pressure on the carotid, as well as with panic attacks. Initially Brodmann would not find this area (nor the previous one) in humans but in other apes, although later investigations have found that we have similar structures.
Area 16 of Brodmann
This area occupies most of the insula, helping to process aspects such as pain, temperature, phonological information or the ability to swallow.
Area 17 of Brodmann
Primary visual area. It is the first area of the cortex that begins to process the visual information of the lateral geniculate nucleus, also possessing a retinotopic mapping or representation of the eye and the visual field that allows a more precise and posterior processing. You also get the first impressions of color, orientation or movement.
Area 18 of Brodmann
One of the extrastriated cortices that are part of the secondary visual cortex. It allows the vision in 3 dimensions and the detection of the light intensity.
Area 19 of Brodmann
It is also one of the extrastriatal or secondary visual cortexes, and in this case it also allows the visual recognition of stimuli by linking with memory.
Area 20 of Brodmann
It is also part of the ventral visual pathway or via del qué (which allows to see color and shape). In short, it allows us to know what we are seeing. It includes the inferior temporal gyrus.
Area 21 of Brodmann
Area 21 is an area of auditory association, which is part of the well-known Wernicke area. Participates then among other things in the understanding of language.
Area 22 of Brodmann
When we think of the Wernicke area itself, we are thinking mostly in this area. It is therefore linked to the ability to understand language, helping to transform and link auditory information with its meaning.
Area 23 of Brodmann
It is part of the area of the cortex linked to emotional information and memory, being connected to the limbic system.
Area 24 of Brodmann
Like the previous one, it participates in the processing and perception of emotions and their relationship with behavior (connecting with orbitofrontal and limbic system).
Area 25 of Brodmann
Located near the cingulate, in the subgenual area. It is linked to movement that occurs below the knee, mood, appetite or sleep. The part closest to the prefrontal is linked to self-esteem.
Area 26 of Brodmann
It is related to autobiographical memory and is situated in the cingulate gyrus.
Area 27 of Brodmann
This brain region, like the previous one, is linked to processes related to memory (being close to the hippocampus), as well as brain areas that allow the perception and identification of odors. In fact, it is part of the so-called primary olfactory cortex.
Area 28 of Brodmann
Associative cortex that, like the previous one, participates both in memory processes and in the integration of olfactory perception information. Also part of the entorhinal cortex is in this area, the latter being a region that allows information from the rest of the brain to pass to the hippocampus and vice versa.
Area 29 of Brodmann
This area, in the retrosplenial part of the cingulum, is also linked to memory, an example of which is the evocation of experiences.
Area 30 of Brodmann
Associative area like the previous one and with similar functions. Located in the sub-plennary part of the cingulum. It is linked to memory and learning, as well as to conditioning.
Area 31 of Brodmann
Also in the cingulate gyrus, this area is linked to the processing of memory and emotions, participating in the feeling of familiarity.
Area 32 of Brodmann
Part of the parietal and almost the frontal part, in the dorsal part of the cingulum turn, this region participates in cognitive processes such as decision making and inhibition of response.
Area 33 of Brodmann
Like the previous one, this area is related to decision making, as well as the perception of pain, emotional processing and motor planning.
Area 34 of Brodmann
In this region the uncus can be found. It is therefore an area that would be part of the primary olfactory cortex. The perception of disgust or olfactory and gustatory memory are also aspects in which it participates.
Area 35 of Brodmann
In it is the perirrinal cortex. Participates in memory, being linked to unconscious memories. Also in the recognition of images.
Area 36 of Brodmann
Brodmann’s area 36 helps codify and recover autobiographical memories. It also helps to process information related to spatial localization. In it is the parahippocampal cortex.
Area 37 of Brodmann
Integra part of the fusiform turn. Proceed with multimodal information This area is linked to the recognition of faces, sign language or the understanding of metaphors, among others.
Area 38 of Brodmann
Another area of association, linked to both memory and emotions. Also to the semantic processing of information.
Area 39 of Brodmann
In this area of Brodmann we find the angular turn, implied in the understanding of both verbal and written language or in calculus.
Area 40 of Brodmann
On this occasion we find the supramarginal rotation as one of the most relevant structures. It allows, together with the angular rotation, the ability to link graphemes and phonemes, with which it is essential for literacy. It is also linked to tactile and motor learning and recognition.
Area 41 of Brodmann
Area that corresponds to the primary auditory cortex, the first nucleus of the cortex in processing auditory information. It detects frequency changes and participates in the location of the sound source.
Area 42 of Brodmann
Secondary auditory cortex, like the Wernicke area. It allows the information obtained from the primary auditory cortex to be processed at a higher level.
Area 43 of Brodmann
Located in the posterior part of the insula and practically in the Silvio fissure, it is the part of the gustatory cortex that allows us to process at the level of the cortex the information about taste and taste.
Area 44 of Brodmann
Together with area 45 it forms Broca’s area, allowing the production of language at a written and spoken level. Area 44 corresponds to the pars opercularis of the Broca area, also linked to the intonation, the gesticulation and the movements necessary to produce the language.
Area 45 of Brodmann
Together with the previous form, Broca’s area is essential for the production of fluent speech. Area 45 includes the pars triangularis, linked to semantic processing as well as to gesticulation, facial expression and intonation.
Area 46 of Brodmann
In the inferior frontal gyrus, it forms part of the dorsolateral prefrontal, its role in terms of attention and working memory being relevant.
Area 47 of Brodmann
Also called pars orbitalis, it also participates in Broca’s area and has an important implication in the language. Specifically in the syntax of the language, as well as that of music.