Cerebral cortex

The cerebral cortex and underlying connecting white matter accounts for the largest part of the human brain. It is composed of five different types of neurons arranged into distinct layers (in most places 6 layers) admixed with supporting glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia) and blood vessels.


The majority of the human cortex, with the exception of the olfactory cortex and cortical parts of the temporal lobe limbic system which have three layers, has six layers, numbered from superficial (I) to deep (VI) . The layers are:

  • plexiform layer
  • outer granular layer 
  • pyramidal cell layer
  • inner granular layer
  • ganglionic layer
  • multiform cell layer
  • See also