Korbinian Brodmann (1868-1918) and his contributions to mapping the cerebral cortex

Neurosurgery. 2011 Jan;68(1):6-11; discussion 11. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3181fc5cac.


Korbinian Brodmann is best remembered for his classification of cortical areas based on cytoarchitecture. He was influenced by such greats as Alzheimer, Vogt, Edinger, Nissl, and Weigert. Although first presented in 1903, Brodmann's "mapping" continues to be the lingua franca of cortical localization and his writings on this topic have become neurological classics. Many of his areas have gone on to be associated with various nervous functions such as hearing (areas 41 and 42) and vision (areas 17 and 18). Few textbooks of neurology, neuroanatomy, or neurosurgery fail to mention the important maps produced by Brodmann that are still used today. The present article discusses the life and influence of Korbinian Brodmann on our understanding of the human brain.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping / history*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Neuroanatomy / history*

Personal name as subject

  • Korbinian Brodman