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How uniform is the neocortex?

Its interesting to note that only mammals have neocortex [1] and birds for instance don't even have cortex [2]. But since birds have sensory perception, cognition and language, and some of them are also very smart [3] [4] [5], it seems that, either sensory perception, cognition, and language are processed also (even mainly) in other parts of the brain, either birds and other animal species have structures equivalent to the cortex and neocortex and we should stop saying that "only mammals have neocortex" [6].

In the meantime, it sounds less wrong, instead of saying "The neocortex is *the* part of the human brain *responsible* for higher-order functions like sensory perception, cognition, and language...", to say "The neocortex is *a* part of the human brain that *plays a relevant role* in higher-order functions like sensory perception, cognition, and language...". This is because, if we combine the widely accepted idea that "only mammals have neocortex" with the expression "neocortex is the part of the brain responsible for higher-order functions", it seems to indicate that individuals without neocortex do not have higher-order functions, which is false, and we would be, perhaps inadvertently, promoting discrimination of non-human animals without neocortex, such as birds or fish.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neocortex
[2] https://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2016/jun/15/birds-pack-more-cells-into-their-brains-than-mammals
[3] https://www.gizhub.com/crows-smarter-apes-language
[4] https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191211-crows-could-be-the-smartest-animal-other-than-primates
[5] http://m.nautil.us/blog/why-neuroscientists-need-to-study-the-crow
[6] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001151953.htm