"The neocortex is derived embryonically from the dorsal telencephalon, which is the rostral part of the forebrain. The neocortex is divided into frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes, which perform different functions. For example, the occipital lobe contains the primary visual cortex, and the temporal lobe contains the primary auditory cortex. Further subdivisions or areas of neocortex are responsible for more specific cognitive processes. In humans, the frontal lobe contains areas devoted to abilities that are enhanced in or unique to our species, such as complex language processing localized to the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (Broca's area).  In humans and other primates, social and emotional processing is localized to the orbitofrontal cortex. (See Cerebral cortex and Cerebrum.)
The neocortex has also been shown to play an influential role in sleep, memory and learning processes. Semantic memories appear to be stored in the neocortex, specifically the anterolateral temporal lobe of the neocortex. It is also involved in instrumental conditioning; responsible for transmitting sensory information and information about plans for movement to the basal ganglia.  The firing rate of neurons in the neocortex also has an effect on slow-wave sleep. When the neurons are at rest and are hyperpolarizing, a period of inhibition occurs during a slow oscillation, called the down state. When the neurons of the neocortex are in the excitatory depolarizing phase and are firing briefly at a high rate, a period of excitation occurs during a slow oscillation, called the up state.
There is still much to learn about the roles the neocortex has in the neurological processes exemplified in human behavior. To further understand the vital role the neocortex plays in human cognition, IBM’s computational model of the human brain was created that simulated the electrochemistry of the neocortex. The super computer, the Blue Brain Project, was created to improve understanding of the processes of perception, learning and memory and gain further knowledge about mental health disorders. "