The occipital lobe is small and pyramidal in shape; it presents three surfaces: lateral, medial, and tentorial.
This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from http://www.bartleby.com/107/).
- The lateral surface is limited in front by the lateral part of the parieto-occipital fissure, and by a line carried from the end of this fissure to the preoccipital notch; it is traversed by the transverse occipital and the lateral occipital sulci. The transverse occipital sulcus is continuous with the posterior end of the occipital ramus of the intraparietal sulcus, and runs across the upper part of the lobe, a short distance behind the parietooccipital fissure. The lateral occipital sulcus extends from behind forward, and divides the lateral surface of the occipital lobe into a superior and an inferior gyrus, which are continuous in front with the parietal and temporal lobes.
- The medial surface of the occipital lobe is bounded in front by the medial part of the parieto-occipital fissure, and is traversed by the calcarine fissure, which subdivides it into the cuneus and the lingual gyrus. The cuneus is a wedge-shaped area between the calcarine fissure and the medial part of the parieto-occipital fissure. The lingual gyrus lies between the calcarine fissure and the posterior part of the collateral fissure; behind, it reaches the occipital pole; in front, it is continued on to the tentorial surface of the temporal lobe, and joins the hippocampal gyrus.
- The tentorial surface of the occipital lobe is limited in front by an imaginary transverse line through the preoccipital notch, and consists of the posterior part of the fusiform gyrus (occipitotemporal convolution) and the lower part of the lingual gyrus, which are separated from each other by the posterior segment of the collateral fissure.