Limbic lobe

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 29 Jul 2021

The limbic lobe is a horseshoe-like structure formed mainly of the subcallosal gyruscingulate gyrusparahippocampal gyrus, and hippocampus.  

It should be noted that its inclusion as one of the lobes of the brain is a little contentious, with most authors referring to it as part of the 'limbic system' rather than as a lobe.

The term 'limbic' is derived from the Latin term limbus (meaning 'rim'). The term refers to the anatomical relationship of the limbic lobe bordering the corpus callosum and wrapping inferiorly along the mesial temporal lobe 1.

It also forms a transitional cortex (allocortex) as compared to the primary cortex (neocortex). The neocortex consists of six layers, while most of the cortical areas of the limbic system consists of a transitional cortex (allocortex) that is made of three to five layers.

History and etymology

The term 'limbic' is derived from the Latin term limbus (meaning 'rim'). The term refers to the anatomical relationship of the limbic lobe bordering the corpus callosum and wrapping inferiorly along the mesial temporal lobe 1. The term "le grand lobe limbique" was coined by Pierre Paul Broca (1824-1880), French physician, in 1878 1,2.

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