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Brain structures


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Cerebrum
Main body of the brain.
Cerebellum
Brain structure inferior and posterior to the cerebrum, involved in the memory and execution of coordinated movements.
Gyri
Raised areas of the cerebral cortex
Sulci
Depressions of the cerebral cortex.
Grey matter
Tissue on the outer aspect of the brain (consisting of the neurone cell bodies, dendrites and synapses).
White matter
Internal, pale brain tissue (consisting of neurone axons).
Frontal lobe
The most anterior lobe of the brain, involved in reasoning, intellect etc.
Parietal lobe
Lobe posterior to the frontal lobe, involved in integrating sensory information as well as symbolic and spacial functions.
Central Sulcus
Division between the frontal and parietal lobes
Precentral gyrus
Area anterior to the central sulcus containing the primary motor cortex, ie. sending motor impulses to the body.
Postcentral gyrus
Posterior to the central sulcus, receives sensory information from the body.
Temporal lobe
Inferior to the frontal and parietal lobes, with centres in hearing, taste, smell, and memory formation.
Hippocampal gyrus
Section of the temporal lobe feeding sensory information to the hippocampus.
Lateral fissure
Division between the temporal and the frontal and parietal lobes.
Occipital lobe
Most posterior lobe of the cerebrum, a visual interpretation centre.
Longitudinal fissure
Divide between the two cerebral hemispheres.
Midbrain
Embryologically distinct region of the brain comprising the cerebral peduncles and colliculi
Superior colliculi
Posterior bodies of the midbrain, mediating visual reflexes such as object fixation
Hindbrain
The pons, medulla oblongata, and cerebellum.
Medulla
The lower half of the brainstem, attached to the spinal cord
Pons
Anterior to the medulla oblongata, connects the hindbrain to the forebrain, has a range of motor and homeostatic functions.
Mammillary bodies
Anterior to the pons, involved in olfaction and memory association
Optic chiasma
'X'-shaped structure connecting the optic nerves to the optic tracts.
Corpus Callosum
Large white crescent of nerve fibres within the cerebrum, connecting the cerebral hemispheres.
Thalamus
Midline structure inferior to the corpus callosum which relays sensory signals to the cerebrum from the rest of the nervous system
Hypothalamus
Structure between the thalamus and the pons, linking the nervous system to the endocrine system (by communication with the pituitary gland).
Pineal gland
Melatonin-secreting endocrine gland located at the posterior aspect of the thalamus.
Lateral ventricles
Spaces deep within the cerebrum in either hemisphere, responsible for production and conduction of cerebrospinal fluid.
Third ventricle
Midline channel between the thalami, conducting CSF from the interventricular foramina to the cerebral aqueduct
Limbic system
Set of structures deep in the cerebrum with important roles in memory and emotion.
Hippocampus
Limbic system structure inferior to the thalamus involved in memory formation.
Amygdala
Limbic system structure anterior to the hippocampus, involved in arousal and aversion.
Broca's area
Functional region usually on the left inferolateral frontal lobe (within the premotor cortex), involved in the articulation of speech
Wernicke's area
Functional region of the posterior left ventral parietal lobe, adjacent to the temporal auditory cortex involved in receptive language faculties and the formation of meaning within language.
Basal ganglia
A collection of subcortical nuclei at the base of the forebrain involved in control of voluntary movement. They include the caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus, and substantia nigra
Anterior commisure
Bundle of fibres connecting the cerebral hemispheres, passing rostral to the thalamus and ventral to the fornix. ~1/10 the size of the corpus callosum
Choroid plexus
Network of fenestrated capillaries found mostly in the lateral ventricles producing CSF by forming a blood ultrafiltrate
Internal capsule
White bundle passing from the pons to the cortex, between the basal ganglia and lateral to the thalamus. Contains the corticospinal tract
Motor cortex
Functional region of the precentral gyrus of the frontal lobe, involved in planning and executing movement
Fourth ventricle
Midline channel between the pons and cerebellum, conducting CSF from the cerebral aqueduct to the spinal canal and subarachnoid space (via the lateral foramina)
Auditory cortex
Functional region of the dorsal edge of the temporal lobe, involved in perception and processing hearing
Somatosensory cortex
Functional region of the postcentral gyrus of the frontal lobe, receiving tactile sensory innervation
Visual cortex
Functional region located around the occipital pole, involved in perception and processing of sight.
Visual association area
Functional cortical area located in the occipital lobe rostral to the occipital pole. Involved in initial convergence and processing of visual stimuli.
Premotor cortex
Functional cortical area rostral to the primary motor cortex, involved in planning and initiating complex motor programmes