The occipital lobe convexity sulci and gyri

Laboratory investigation

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  • 1 Microneurosurgery Laboratory, Hospital Beneficência Portuguesa de São Paulo and Institute of Neurological Sciences;
  • 2 Department of Surgery, University of São Paulo Medical School;
  • 3 Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo–SP; and
  • 4 Department of Neurosurgery, State University of Campinas, Campinas–SP, Brazil
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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 aim of this study was to investigate and describe the anatomy of the occipital lobe convexity and clarify its nomenclature.


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 this study were the intraoccipital, transverse occipital, 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.

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Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Raphael Vicente Alves, M.D., Institute of Neurological Sciences, Praça Amadeu Amaral, 27 andar 5, São Paulo, SP, Brasil, 01327-010. email:

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online February 17, 2012; DOI: 10.3171/2012.1.JNS11978.

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