Cerebral Cortex Formation Process
Cerebral Cortex Formation Process
The human brain is the most important body part in the body since it coordinates and controls all the body functions such as thinking, feeling, keeping memories, and all the functions that make us human. According to Lewis & Writer, the human brain is similar to other mammals’ brains in terms of structure but it is larger relative to the body size of the mammals (2018). The human brain is divided into multiple parts but the major ones include the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem. The cerebral cortex is the outmost part of the vertebrates’ brain majorly comprised of grey matter and it is the most visible human brain part since it covers the largest surface. Additionally, the cerebral cortex is folded extensively forming ridge and valley features known as gyri and sulci respectively. The cerebral cortex ridges increase the surface area to accommodate more neurons. The cerebral cortex plays various important brain functions since it is connected to the subcortical areas. The cerebral cortex is made up of three areas such as sensory, motor, and association. The sensory part receives and processes information related to sensation from sense modalities, while the motor part plays its roles in the initiation of movements, while the association areas are involved in integrating information from various brain areas. Although the cerebral cortex is the outmost part of the human brain, there are various steps and processes involved in its formation.
Understanding the cerebral cortex development processes of the human brain helps us to have knowledge and skills to treat various neurodevelopment conditions. The process through which the cerebral cortex is formed during the development of the nervous system is referred to as corticogenesis (Cárdenas, & Borrell, 2020). Some various sequential activities and steps occur during this process. The cerebral cortex development process is mainly characterized by three main steps. Firstly, proliferation and differentiation of the neuronal stems. The formation of the cerebral cortex starts when the neural plates begin appearing. after few days, the major brain divisions are now visible. Cerebral vesicles begin to differentiate at about the 33rd day of gestation (Agirman et al, 2017). Next, the hemispheres start forming as a single layer of columnar epithelium. In the ventricular zone, the proliferation of precursor cells begins and later populates the cerebral cortex. Secondly, the neuronal precursors migrate to the cortical plates through radial or tangential moves. In the neuronal migration, the neuroblasts get attached to radial glial cells that connect the developing hemisphere starting from the germinal zone to the pia. After migrating through glial cells and detach once they reach the proper zone in the developing cerebral cortex. In this step, proteins play important roles such as encoding actin cross-linking that helps in the movement of cells such as the migrating neurons. The cells migrate in shifts: the first cells wave migration creates an intermediate zone, which further migrates to marginal zones forming preplates. The second cell migration wave, which is the massive one forms most of the six layers (Agirman et al, 2017). Additionally, this is the stage that radial and non-radial migration takes place. Finally, the cortical is organized into six layers that are associated with apoptosis and synaptogenesis (Agirman et al, 2017). In the cortical organization, molecular mechanisms such as neurite extensions, neuronal maturation, and synaptogenesis are involved. At this stage, the molecular mechanisms of these steps start slowly becoming clear. To conclude this part, the cerebral cortex development process is a stepwise process involving sequential and simultaneous stages.
In retrospect, the cerebral cortex processes are dynamic and occur simultaneously during different phases of development. The cerebral cortex formation processes such as cell proliferation and cell differentiation, neuronal migration, and cortical organization form a conceptual framework for genetic studies. Disruption of these cerebral cortex development processes leads to the middle cingulate cortex and malfunctions. Overall, cerebral cortex processes play key roles in the development of a fetus brain.
Agirman, G., Broix, L., & Nguyen, L. (2017). Cerebral cortex development: an outside‐in perspective. FEBS letters, 591(24), 3978-3992.
Cárdenas, A., & Borrell, V. (2020). Molecular and cellular evolution of corticogenesis in amniotes. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 77(8), 1435-1460.
Lewis, T., & Writer, S. (2018). Human Brain: Facts, Functions & Anatomy. Live Science.
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