Different areas of the cerebral cortex are involved in different cognitive and behavioural tasks. These can be investigated by studying the behaviours of brain damaged patients, relating the damage they have sustained to changes in their behaviours and sensory systems.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies show areas of the brain with increased activity during particular tasks. More invasive procedures such as eletrocorticography may be used where the brain is directly stimulated by electrodes, these are usually limited to be performed only during surgical procedures when patients require removal of a damaged section of brain. The Journal ‘Nature’ published a study in July of 2016 suggesting that the brain could be separated into twice as many areas as previously believed.