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Definition of «Cortical»

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Cortical: Having to do with the cortex, the outer portion of an organ.

The outer portion of the adrenal gland is called the adrenal cortical part; the outer portion of the cerebrum is the cerebral cortical area (a key part of the brain responsible for higher cortical functions); the outer part of the kidney is the renal cortical portion (it lies just beneath the capsule surrounding the kidney); etc.

Cortical is in contrast to the inner portion of the organ which is called the medullary portion. Thus, there is the adrenal medulla; the medulla oblongata of the brain; the renal medulla; etc.

The word "cortical" comes from "cortex", Latin for the bark of a tree.

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