- Grey matter
Name = PAGENAME
Latin = substantia grisea
Caption = The formation of the spinal nerve from the dorsal and ventral roots. (Grey matter labeled at center right.)
DorlandsPre = s_27
DorlandsSuf = 12766773
Grey matter (or gray matter) is a major component of the
central nervous system, consisting of nerve cell bodies ( neurons), glial cells ( astrogliaand oligodendrocytes), capillaries, and short nerve cell extensions/processes ( axons and dendrites).
It is composed of cell bodies as opposed to
white matter(cell axons). It has a gray brown color which comes from the capillaryblood vessels and the neuronal cell bodies.
Grey matter is distributed at the surface of the
cerebral hemispheres ( cerebral cortex) and of the cerebellum( cerebellar cortex), as well as in the depth of the cerebral ( thalamus; hypothalamus; subthalamus, basal ganglia- putamen, globus pallidus, nucleus accumbens; septal nuclei), cerebellar (deep cerebellar nuclei - dentate nucleus, globose nucleus, emboliform nucleus, fastigial nucleus), brainstem( substantia nigra, red nucleus, olivary nuclei, cranial nerve nuclei) and spinal grey matter ( anterior horn, lateral horn, posterior horn).
The function of gray matter is to route sensory or motor stimulus to
interneuronsof the CNS in order to create a response to the stimulus through chemical synapseactivity. Gray matter structures (cortex, deep nuclei) process information originating in the sensory organsor in other gray matter regions. This information is conveyed via specialized nerve cell extensions (long axons), which form the bulk of the cerebral, cerebellar, and spinal white matter.
Gray matter heterotopia
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.