Brain – Main sulci and gyri

Mental Skills Required




Mental Skills Required




Sylvian fissure

Sylvian fissure is the most consistent anatomical landmark. It is located on the superolateral surface of the hemisphere and separates frontal and temporal lobe, it is also called the lateral sulcus or lateral fissure.

Anterior Sylvian point divides the Sylvian fissure in into two rami:

  • the anterior ramus
  • the posterior ramus

The Sylvian fissure is often exposed through the pterional approach. The dissection of this fissure allows reaching the MCA, carotid artery, optic nerve, etc.

Parts of the Sylvian fissure

Central sulcus

The fissure separating the frontal lobe from the parietal lobe, also called Rolandic fissure. It arises from the superior limit of the hemisphere and slides on the lateral surface following a flexuous course.

The final segment does not often cross the Sylvian fissure but intersects the superior segment of the circular sulcus of the insula. It is usually located 2–5 cm behind the coronal suture, and it can be divided in two anterior and posterior rami.

It is characterized by three curves. The superior and inferior curves shape an anteriorly directed convexity, whereas the middle curve forms a concavity.

Parietooccipital sulcus

The vertical sulcus on the medial surface of the hemisphere dividing the parietal lobe from the occipital lobe (on the medial surface – the precuneus from the cuneus). It arises from the cuneate sulcus, delimiting the cuneus anteriorly and the precuneus posteriorly.

It runs behind the level of the splenium and may present numerous patterns: T- or Y-shape, straight, or ramified into more branches.

Preoccipital notch

The small fissure, also known as temporo-occipital incisure, that constitute the limit between the temporal and occipital lobes.

Relationship between main sulci/fissures and the lobes

Interhemispheric fissure

The fissure separating the two hemispheres of the telencephalon. It extends around the connections between the two hemispheres, constituted by the corpus callosum and the structures of the diencephalon.

Pterional Box: brain box for pteronial approach

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