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Brodmann areas

Learning objectives

On completing this study unit, you will be able to:

  1. Describe what a Brodmann area is.
  2. Understand the relationship between Brodmann areas, cortical cytoarchitecture and function.
  3. Identify the major Brodmann areas and state their functional relevance.

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The cerebral cortex can be mapped into fifty-two territories or regions called Brodmann areas, which are defined on the basis of the brain’s cytoarchitecture (i.e. cellular composition and organization). Forty-four of these areas are found in humans, while the remaining eight relate to the primate brain.

Brodmann areas can be didactically divided into groups according to the lobes of the brain: frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital and insula. Brodmann areas can also be considered in relation to cortical functions. For example, the main area of the occipital lobe is Brodmann area 17 (striate area) which corresponds to the primary visual cortex that is responsible for the visual stimuli processing.

Find out more about the Brodmann areas and explore the function of the most well understood areas by watching the video below!

Take a quiz

Put your knowledge on the Brodmann areas to the test with the quiz below.

Looking for a broader array of questions on the cerebrum? Try out our fully customizable quiz below.

Browse atlas

Take a closer look at Brodmann areas in the gallery below. 

Summary

Key points about the Brodmann areas
Definition A Brodmann area is a defined region of the cerebral cortex, mapped according to the cerebral cortex’s cytoarchitecture
Frontal lobe BA 4: Primary motor cortex
BA 6: Premotor cortex and supplementary motor cortex
BA 8: Frontal eye field
BA 9: Anterior prefrontal cortex (motor planning, organization, regulation, attention and memory)
BA 10: Cortex of frontal pole (memory retrieval and executive functions like decision making)
BA 44 and 45: Broca’s speech and language area (located in dominant hemisphere)
Parietal lobe BA 1, 2 and 3: Primary somatosensory cortex
BA 5: Somatosensory association cortex
BA 7: Visuomotor coordination
BA 39: Angular gyrus (reading, sentence generation, mathematics)
BA 40: Supramarginal gyrus (perception and language processing)
Temporal lobe BA 22: Secondary auditory cortex (Wernicke’s area, language comprehension)
BA 27: Piriform cortex ( perception of smell)
BA 35 & 36: Perirhinal cortex (memory)
BA 37: Fusiform gyrus (facial recognition)
BA 41 & 42: Primary auditory cortex
BA 43: Gustatory cortex (taste)
Occipital lobe BA 17: Primary visual cortex (striate cortex)
BA 18: Secondary visual cortex
BA 19: Associative visual cortex

Well done!

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