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Lateral view of the brain

Learning objectives

This study unit will teach you how to:

  1. Identify the 3 surfaces and borders of the cerebrum.
  2. Name and demarcate the cerebral lobes seen on the superolateral surface of the brain.
  3. Identify the main gyri and sulci that are seen on the superolateral surface of the brain.

Watch video

The brain is the most complex organ of the body composed of three major parts: cerebrum, cerebellum and brainstem. The cerebrum is the biggest of those three parts. It is a highly convoluted structure organised into folds called gyri and grooves called sulci, which give the cerebrum its wrinkled appearance.

The cerebrum demonstrates a superolateral, medial and inferior surface. Each surface of the cerebrum contains certain characteristic gyri and sulci.

The superolateral surface of the cerebrum is convex and contains the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobe, that lie beneath the corresponding bones of the calvaria. The frontal lobe takes up the majority of the superolateral surface, forming the most anterior portion of the cerebrum. It is separated from the parietal lobe by the central sulcus (fissure of Rolando), while the frontal and parietal lobes are separated from the temporal lobe by the lateral (Sylvian) sulcus

Watch the following video to find out more about the structure and striking features of the cerebral lobes seen on the superolateral surface!

Take a quiz

Take the following quiz to test what you already know about the brain, as well as gain some new knowledge about the brain from the superolateral perspective!

Try out our fully customisable quiz below and tailor it to your own needs by creating your own selection of structures to be quizzed on!

Browse atlas

Take a closer look at the brain from a lateral and superior view in the galleries below.


Key facts: main gyri and sulci of the superolateral surface of the brain
Frontal lobe Gyri: Precentral gyrus (motor cortex); superior, middle and inferior frontal gyri (prefrontal cortex)
Sulci: Precentral sulcus, superior frontal sulcus, inferior frontal sulcus
Parietal lobe Gyri: Postcentral gyrus, superior parietal lobule, inferior parietal lobule (supramarginal gyrus, angular gyrus)
Sulci: Postcentral sulcus, intraparietal sulcus
Temporal lobe Gyri: Superior temporal gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, inferior temporal gyrus 
Sulci: Superior temporal sulcus, inferior temporal sulcus, preoccipital notch
Occipital lobe Gyri: Superior and inferior occipital gyri
Sulci: Parietoocccipital sulcus, preoccipital notch

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