Occipital lobe

The occipital lobe is one of the four major lobes of the cerebral cortex in the brain.

Located in the rearmost portion of the skull, the occipital lobes are part of the forebrain. None of the cortical lobes are defined by any internal structural features, but rather by the bones of the head bone that overlie them. Thus, the occipital lobe is defined as the part of the cerebral cortex that lies underneath the occipital bone.

The lobes rest on the tentorium cerebelli.

They are structurally isolated in their respective cerebral hemispheres by the separation of the cerebral fissure. At the front edge of the occipital are several lateral occipital gyri, which are separated by lateral occipital sulcus.

The occipital aspects along the inside face of each hemisphere are divided by the calcarine fissure. Above the medial, Y-shaped sulcus lies the cuneus, and the area below the sulcus is the lingual gyrus.

The anatomy of the occipital lobe convexity is so intricate and variable that its precise description is not found in the classic anatomy textbooks, and the occipital sulci and gyri are described with different nomenclatures according to different authors.

The configurations of sulci and gyri on the lateral surface of the occipital lobe of 20 cerebral hemispheres were examined in order to identify the most characteristic and consistent patterns.

The most characteristic and consistent occipital sulci identified in the study of Alves et al., were the intraoccipital sulcus, transverse occipital sulcus, and lateral occipital sulci. The morphology of the transverse occipital sulcus and the intraoccipital sulcus connection was identified as the most important aspect to define the gyral pattern of the occipital lobe convexity.

Knowledge of the main features of the occipital sulci and gyri permits the recognition of a basic configuration of the occipital lobe and the identification of its sulcal and gyral variations 1).

Damage to the primary visual areas of the occipital lobe can leave a person with partial or complete blindness


The occipital lobe is the visual processing center of the mammalian brain containing most of the anatomical region of the visual cortex.


STO:Superior transverse

ITO: Inferior transverse

MTO Middle transverse http://www.scielo.br/img/fbpe/anp/v60n3a/11127f2.jpg

see Occipital lobe infarct.

see Occipital lobe syndromes.

Alves RV, Ribas GC, Párraga RG, de Oliveira E. The occipital lobe convexity sulci and gyri. J Neurosurg. 2012 May;116(5):1014-23. doi: 10.3171/2012.1.JNS11978. PubMed PMID: 22339163.
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