6. Nervous system

White and gray matter

Cerebral cortex (Cortex cerebri); Image: Paul Kim

Cerebral cortexCortex cerebri1/4Synonyms: Brain cortex, Cortical grey matter

The white color of myelinated axons is distinguished from the gray colored neuronal bodies and dendrites. Based on this, nervous tissue is divided into white matter and gray matter, both of which has a specific distribution; 

  • White matter comprises the outermost layer of the spinal cord and the inner part of the brain.
  • Gray matter is located in the central part of the spinal cord, outermost layer of the brain (cerebral cortex), and in several subcortical nuclei of the brain deep to the cerebral cortex.

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