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Largest part of the brain. The two cerebral hemispheres consist of an inner core of myelinated nerve fibres, the white matter, and a heavily convoluted outer cortex of gray matter (seecerebral cortex). Nerve fibres in the white matter connect functional areas of the cortex in the same hemispheres, connect functional areas of the cortex in opposite hemispheres, and connect the cerebral cortex to lower centres (e.g., the spinal cord). A front-to-back fissure divides the cerebrum's two hemispheres. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. The corpus callosum, a thick band of white matter, connects them, allowing integration of sensory data and responses from both sides of the body. Other important cerebral structures include the hypothalamus and the thalamus.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cerebrum, visit Britannica.com.