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screenshot from CNN's May 18, 2023 "Feinstein’s office confirms broader health complications, contradicting senator’s denial" https://youtu.be/ubHBWoIol5g

above: Screenshot from CNN's May 18, 2023 Feinstein’s office confirms broader health complications, contradicting senator’s denial below: from anatomyinfo.com's Parts of the Brain

from "Parts of the Brain" https://anatomyinfo.com/parts-of-the-brain/

Neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay_Gupta frequently appears on CNN to clarify complicated medical issues for the general public. Today he discussed possible neurological effects of shingles including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and differentiated it from meningitis (inflammation of the "protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord".

He briefly raised a model of a (presumably) human brain to remind us what a brain looks like, but didn't refer to any region specifically.

In school I learned of brain subdivisions as lobes; frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal, cerebellum, etc. but this model has two vertical zig-zag-stripes a bit behind where the boundary of frontal and parietal used to be.

Question: Why does Sanjay Gupta's brain model shown on CNN look so unusual? The subdivisions don't look like the lobes I learned in school.

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I don't know exactly what brain model he has, but if you search for "brain model" you'll find lots that have the precentral gyrus and postcentral gyrus colored separately from the frontal and parietal lobes. Here's an example:

brain model

The precentral gyrus is at the very posterior end of the frontal lobe, and is the location of primary motor cortex. The postcentral gyrus is right next to it, at the very anterior end of the parietal lobe, and is the location of primary somatosensory cortex.

A couple other things to know are that brains vary a lot between people; it's really a pain in neuroscience because when you do brain imaging and want to compare between people you need to transform everything to a shared space. Also the lobes frontal/parietal/temporal/occipital are only kind of real things. They're roughly delineated by typically deeper sulci, but all the lobes are still closely connected with their neighbors. They are not separate.

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  • $\begingroup$ I see, are these areas primarily applied to just the cortex? In other words (and pardon my lack of neurology words) are they related to the surface of the brain only, whereas lobes are "bulk" features? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 19, 2023 at 6:26
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Both lobes and these areas relate only to cortex, the "outer" part. Subcortical structures like thalamus are also organized in a way that corresponds to their connectivity to cortex, but not the same. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    May 19, 2023 at 11:24
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    $\begingroup$ There are lots of different ways to potentially subdivide the neocortex. Brodmann areas are one example you could read about. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    May 19, 2023 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ So it seems an answer to my comment might go something like "yes, these areas primarily applied to just the cortex... whereas lobes you studied about in school are 'bulk' features". I'll go off and read some more now. There is so much happening on the cortex it makes me wonder sometimes if the stuff underneath is as much for pure mechanical support of the cortex as it is for actual neurological function. I think I'll ask a new question about that but it will take some time to some basic reading first. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 20, 2023 at 1:41
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh No, the lobes are just broader "geographical" features of the cortex, only the cortex. Right below the cortex is mostly "white matter": fiber bundles connecting within cortex and from cortex elsewhere. After that you get into other structures, but all of that is entirely underneath all of the exterior named lobes you're talking about. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    May 20, 2023 at 2:05

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