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Layer of gray matter that constitutes the outer layer of the cerebrum and is responsible for integrating sensory impulses and for higher intellectual functions. It is divided into four lobes, roughly defined by major surface folds; sometimes the limbic system, or limbic lobe, is considered to be a fifth lobe. The frontal lobe controls motor activity and speech, the parietal controls touch and position, and the temporal lobe handles auditory reception and memory. The occipital lobe at the back of the brain holds the brain's major visual-reception area. The limbic lobe controls smell, taste, and emotional responses.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cerebral cortex, visit Britannica.com.