I have been trying to learn the anatomy of the brain, and some information on their functions, through an iPad app called 3D Brain. Whilst going through the different parts, I have noticed that one area doesn’t seem to be mentioned.

If you look at the image below, you get the brain stem (colour highlighted and labelled).

Brain Stem

Going from the brain stem upwards, I am then trying to identify the structures in medium grey which sit on top of the midbrain.

I have seen that the bulbous areas left and right are the basal ganglia.

Basal Ganglia

What are the rest of the structures? I would like to know what all the mid grey structures are in the first image, but I am especially curious to know what I have drawn around below.

curious areas of the brain

  • $\begingroup$ Can I ask why I am getting downvoted? $\endgroup$ Feb 18 '19 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not one of the downvotes, but I think this question comes off as a bit under-researched and poorly motivated, while also being quite broad. Basically this approach to studying the brain doesn't make a lot of sense, and there are lots of sources besides this app to learn basic brain anatomy. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 18 '19 at 19:29

You're looking at many structures in this area.

The region directly above the midbrain is the diencephalon (meaning "across + brain"). From inferior to superior it's composed of the hypothalamus, thalamus, and structures that developed from a developmental region referred to as the epithalamus that include the pineal gland, habenular trigone, and choroid plexus. Between the hemispheres of the thalamus/hypothalmus lies the third ventricle (which may be "bridged" by a structure called the interthalamic adhesion).

Of each of these structures, only the thalamus and hypothalamus are truly visible from your images -- with the hypothalamus articulating with the midbrain and the thalamus emerging superior and slightly lateral to he hypothalamus. The following structures are also visible in your image:

The most inferior structure you see is the pituitary gland, while the "X" shaped structure superior to it is the optic chiasm with cut optic nerves anteriorly and optic tracts continuing posteriorly out of view. It's not entirely clear, but I believe the two protruding structures posterior to the pituitary are the paired oculomotor nerves. Finally, the two long ribbon-like structures that extend anteriorly are the olfactory tracts of cranial nerve I that terminate anteriorly in optic bulbs.

enter image description here


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