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sagittal section of brain; page 14 on the lab review guide


the bulk or major portion of the brain consisting of left and right cerebral hemispheres

white matter

made up mostly of myelinated neuron processes arranged into bundles called tracts

gray matter

consists mainly of the cell bodies of unmyelinated neurons

cerebral cortex

the layer of the brain often referred to as gray matter; consists of gyri and sulci

corpus callosum

largest white matter structure in the brain; connects the left and right hemispheres and facilitates interhemispheric communication

lateral ventricles

lie within the interior of the cerebral hemispheres; the pair communicates with the third ventricle by the interventricular foramen(duct of monro)

septum pellucidum

a tissue mass that separates the left ventricle from the right lateral ventricle


includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and third ventricle; located near the midline of the brain, above the midbrain


egg shaped structure; lies below the fornix and corpus callosum and consists of a left and right lobe which forms the walls of the third cavity; consists mainly of gray matter and acts as a relay center for sensory impulses passing upward to the appropriate lobe of cerebrum, a center of pain awareness, and the region where many nerve tracts cross over from one side of the CNS to the other

pituitary gland

also called hypophysis; protrusion off the bottom of the hypothalamus at the base of the brain and is connected functionally to the hypothalamus by the infundibulum; secretes hormones regulating homeostasis; rests in the sella turcica in the skull


conical-shaped mass located below the thalamus; it forms the lower walls and floor of the third ventricle; acts as a center for the regulation of viscera activities, the center for hunger and the regulator for the secretions of the pituitary gland and, in this capacity, the regulator of certain endocrine functions

third ventricle

located between the right and left lobes of the thalamus; protects the brain from trauma and provides pathway for the circulation of CSF; communicates with the fourth ventricle by the cerebral aqueduct


also known as the mesencephalon; connected to the thalamus, superiorly, by the cerebral penducles; appears to be involved with the "righting movements"-responses that allow the head to assume its upright position in space; also a major component of the impulse pathways between the cerebrum, the brain stem, and the spinal cord

cerebral aqueduct

canal located within the midbrain which allows CSF to flow between the third ventricle and the fourth ventricle

corpora quadrigemina

body of the four twins; four swellings located on the dorsal surface of the midbrain

superior colliculi

anterior pair of the corpora quadrigemina; coordinates eye movements toward visual stimuli

inferior colliculi

posterior pair of the corpora quadrigemina; coordinate body movements toward auditory stimuli

fourth ventricle

part of the ventricular system; floor of the fourth ventricle is the pons, while the cerebellum forms its roof

ventricular system

system of interconnecting internal cavities filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)


a portion of the brain stem that contains fibers that connect the cerebellar hemispheres; it's recognized as an enlargement immediately inferior to the midbrain; acts as a higher center for the regulation of the breathing movements

medulla oblongata

a cone-shaped mass that forms the most inferior (lowest) part of the brain stem, is located just below the pons; it appears as a swelling or enlargement that narrows into the spinal cord; it's the center for many of the vital processes (ex: respiration) and therefore destruction to this area usually results in death

choroid plexus

where CSF is produced; located in the lateral ventricle, on top of the 3rd ventricle and on the 4th ventricle on the section closest to the bottom half of the cerebellum


connective tissue enveloping the brain and spinal cord

epidural space

cavity in the vertebral canal that separates the dura mater from bone

dura mater

outermost and is a tough fibrous membrane that attaches to the bones of the cranium

dural sinueses

venous channels found between layers of dura mater in the brain; they receive blood from internal and external veins of the brain, receive CSF from the subarachnoid space, and ultimately empty into the internal jugular vein

arachnoid villi

small protrusions of the arachnoid through the dura mater; they protrude into the venous sinuses of the brain, and allow CSF to exit the brain, and enter into the bloodstream

arachnoid mater

lies immediately beneath the dura mater

subarachnoid space

the space between the pia mater and arachnoid mater; this region is normally filled with CSF

pia mater

a delicate membrane that rests upon the brain and spinal cord

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