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Cortex CerebriPerformance, Structural and Functional Organisation of the Cortex$
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O. D. Creutzfeldt

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198523246

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523246.001.0001

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The association cortex

The association cortex

(p.370) 7 The association cortex
Cortex Cerebri

O.D. Creutzfeldt

Oxford University Press

The term ‘association cortex’ suggests a functional interpretation. However, the definition and delineation of association fields met with resistance when first formulated. It is now known that the anatomical prerequisites of Flechsig's hypothesis of the absence of thalamic afferents and the absence of corticofugal efferents in the association fields is not correct. It is also realized that if a lack of direct afferents from the sensory organs (through the respective specific thalamic relay nuclei) were to be used to define an area as an association area, all the non-primary sensory areas would also have to be included as visual, auditory, and somatosensory association areas, respectively. The same would apply to the prerolandic motor areas. Nevertheless, a functional delineation of the classical association areas from the primary and extraprimary sensory and motor fields remains justified for anatomical and functional reasons, although more recent anatomical and neurophysiological findings offer different anatomical and physiological foundations and definitions.

Keywords:   association cortex, thalamic afferents, corticofugal efferents, sensory organs, non-primary sensory areas, prerolandic motor areas

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