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Aka- convolutions
complicated arrangements or folds that make up the surface of the brain


Aka- Fissures
grooves that seperate Gyri; many have specific names for identification

Interhemispheric fissure

Aka- longitudinal fissure
deep grove separating 2 cerebral hemispheres; divides brain into right and left halves

Interhemispheric fissure contains:

falx cerebri and superior sagittal sinus

Sylvian fissure

Aka- Lateral fissure
separates the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain from the temporal lobe

Fissure of Rolando

Aka- Central Fissure
separates the frontal and parietal lobes of the cerebrum and is a landmark separating the 2 of the major gyri on the surface fo the brain

Pre-central Gyrus is located

anterior to central fissure and posterior to the post-central gyrus

Brain is partitioned into several large divisions including:

cerebrum, the cerebellum, the brainstem, and diencephalon
(each portion can be further divided and defined according to anatomical landmarks)


largest portion of the brain and is divided into right and left hemispheres and smaller divisions called lobes

Frontal lobe of cerebrum

most anterior aspect of each cerebral hemisphere, lying just deep to the frontal bone

Parietal lobe of cerebrum

middle division of right and left cerebral hemisphere lying beneath each parietal bone

Occipital lobe of cerebrum

most posterior region of the right and left cerebral hemispheres

Temporal lobe of cerebrum

lies under each temporal bone; this portion of the brain is bound superiorly by the Silvian fissure (aka lateral fissure)


Aka- Island of Reil
is the central division of each cerebral hemisphere; structure is deep to the temporal lobe w/in each cerebral hemisphere; insula includes portions of the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes

Corpus Callosum

a dense collection of nerve fibers connection the right and left cerebral hemispheres

Gray matter

nuron bodies

White matter

myelinated axons that contain pathways to transmit info from and to cortex

Cerebral cortex

outer most portion of the cerebrum, composed of gray matter, approximately 3-5 cm thick.

Corpus callosum

densest localized portion of white matter


largest part of the hindbrain, positioned just below the tentorium


conects medially the right and left heisphere of cerebellum


superior, middle, and inferior; used by cerebellum to communicate w/ the other parts of the brain

Cerebellar peduncles

connects brain stem and cerebellum


Conduit b/w cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and spinal cord and origin for 10 of 12 cranial nerves

Medulla oblongata

most inferior part of brainstem and hindbrain; continues as the spinal cord below the foramen magnum


part of brainstem that is the prominent bulge b/w midbrain and medulla oblongata; has semi-spherical shape


part of brainstem superior to pons at the junction of the middle and posterior cranial fossa

Cerebral aqueduct

transverses the midbrain


portion of the forebrain composed primarily of the thalamus, hypothalamus, epithalamus, and pituitary gland


large nucleus in the medial part of each cerebral hemisphere, forming part of the lateral wall of the 3rd ventricle


inferior to thalamus and connects to the posterior lobe of the pituitory gland by way of the infundibulum

Penial Gland

most significant feature of the epithalamus; an endocrine structure positioned at the roof of the midbrain, often calcified

Pituitary gland

endocrine gland, sometimes called "master gland" or "hypophysis"; positioned in the sella turcia of the sphenoid; composed of an anterior and posterior lobes


anterior lobe of pituitary gland


posterior lobe of pituitary gland


connects pituitory to hypothalmus

Ventricular system

series of four cavities and several passages w/in the brain all filled w/ csf

Lateral Ventricles

largest cavities of the ventricular system; each can be separated into specific regions

Regions of Lateral Ventricles

anterior horn, body, posterior horn, inferior horn, and triangular area (aka trigone)

Thrid ventricle

narrow cavity located b/w the right and left halves of the thalmus

Fourth ventricle

diamond shaped space b/w cerebellum and medulla oblongata and pons of the brainstem

Foramen of Monro

interventricular foramen allows for communication b/w the lateral ventricles and 3rd ventricle

Cerebral aqueduct

Aka- Sylvian aqueduct
passageway connecting the 3rd and 4th ventricles

Foramen of Luschka

pair of apertures in the 4th ventricle connectiong the ventricular system w/ the Subarachnoid space

Foramen of Magendie

largest opening in the 4th ventricle allow CSF into central canal of spinal cord and basilar cisterns

Subarachnoid space

a narrow fluid-filled space circulating CSF in and around the brain

Basal Cisterns

widened areas in the subarachnoid space

Choroid plexus

located on the floor of the lateral ventricles, network of capillaries produced the CSF that satisfies the nutritional needs fo the brain and spinal cord


surrourd and protect brain; 3 layers are the dura mater, arachnoid membrane, and pia mater

Dura mater

tough outermost membrane of the brain and spinal cord, is a fibrous membrane attached to the inner table of the skull

Falx Cerebri

section of dura mater which folds into the longitudional fissure of the brain; separates the two hemispheres.

Falx Cerebelli

fold of dura mater that forms a vertical partition b/w 2 hemispheres of the cerebellum

Tentorium cerebelli

tent-shaped fold fo the dura mater located in the transverse cerebral fissure

Diaphragma Sellae

horizontal, circular fold which covers the sella turcica; region of dura mater serves to separates the pituitary gland f/ the hypothalamus and optic chiasm; infundibulum of pituitary gland also passes through

Epidural Space

area outside of the dura mater

Sub-dural space

space below the dura mater

Arachnoid layer

middle meninx covering the brain and spinal cord; a fibrous membrane attached to the inside of dura mater. Strands of the arachnoid cross the subarachnoid space to reach the pia mater

Pia Mater

the innermost membrane of the brain and spinal cord; highly vascular membrane is attached to the surface of the brain


unique vascular system - circle of willis

Arteries forming the circle of willis

internal carotid arteries, posterior cerebral arteries, anterior cerebral arteries, posterior communicating arteries, anterior communicationg arteries, and basilar artery

3 arteries that supply blood to cricle of willis

two internal carotids and basilary arteries

Basilary artery

formed by union of 2 vertebral arteries near the level of the Foramen Magnum- supplies blood to the posterior portion of the brain.

Internal carotid arteries

branches of the common carotid arteries, supply blood to the anterior, medial, and lateral regions of the brain

Communicationg Arteries

circulate blood b/w the major vessels that supply blood to the brain; posterior communicating arteries join the posterior cerebral arteries w/ the internal carotid arteries

Anterior cerebral arteries

brances off the internal carotid arteries and supply blood to the anterior and middle regions of the brain

Anterior communicating artery

joins the anterior cerebral arteries

Posterior communicating arteries

join the posterior cerebral arteries and branches off the internal carotid

Middle cerebral artery

branch from the internal carotid artery and supply blood to lateral aspect of brain

Venous Drainage of the brain

accomplished by several major venous pathways, all ultimately drain into internal jugular veins

Superior Sagittal Sinus

a venous cavity (aka vein) b/w the 2 dural layers of the falx cerebri along its attachment to the inner table of the skull; continues as the transverse sinus (vein)

Inferior sagittal sinus

much smaller than the superior sagittal sinus, this vein runs posteriorly along the free edge of the falx cerebri

Transverse sinus

venous space in the tentorium cerebelli along its attachment to the occipital bone

Straight sinus

Venous cavity formed by the junction of the inferior sagittal sinus and the great cerebral vein located along the attachment of the falx cerebri to tentorium cerebelli

Confluence of the sinuses

poster junction of the superior Sagittal, Straight, and Transverse Sinuses; where Sagittal sinus b/c transverse sinus

Path of venous flow in brain

Superior Sagital b/c transverse sinus b/c sigmoid sinus, which b/c internal jugular vein

Sigmoid sinus

continuation of the transverse sinus towards the jugular foramen dumping into jugular vein

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