Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría
Print version ISSN 0034-7450
This paper exposes succinctly the two main tendencies in the structural organization of the mammalian cerebral cortex, particularly that of superior primates: the so called "horizontal organization" and the "vertical organization", with an emphasis on the latter. The horizontal pattern of organization refers to the arrangement in "layers" that run parallel to the cortical surface, whereas the vertical pattern describes clusters of cells orthogonal to the cerebral surface called "columns" or "modules", those arrangements have been proposed as the "minimal processing unit" in the cerebral cortex and constitute the basis of contemporary psychobiological postulates. Relevant background to the concept of column is presented, particularly the experimental data found in the sensorial, motor and associative cortex. Cellular components associated with the structure of the cortical columns are considered. Finally the specific connectivity of some of the best known interneurons of the cerebral cortex is described.
Keywords : Cerebral cortex; module; psychobiology; neurone.