Name = Mesencephalon
Latin = mesencephalon
GraySubject = 188
GrayPage = 800
Caption = Inferior view mesencephalon (2), above (3)
Caption2 = Human brainstem mesencephalon (B)
BrainInfoType = hier
BrainInfoNumber = 445
MeshName = Mesencephalon
MeshNumber = A08.186.211.132.659
In biological anatomy, the mesencephalon (or midbrain) comprises the
tectum(or corpora quadrigemini), tegmentum, the ventricular mesocoelia (or "iter"), and the cerebral peduncles, as well as several nuclei and fasciculi. Caudally the mesencephalon adjoins the pons(metencephalon) and rostrally it adjoins the diencephalon(Thalamus, hypothalamus, et al).
During development, the mesencephalon forms from the middle of three vesicles that arise from the
neural tubeto generate the brain. In mature human brains, the mesencephalon becomes the least differentiated, from both its developmental form and within its own structure, among the three vesicles. The mesencephalon is considered part of the brain stem. Its substantia nigrais closely associated with motor systempathways of the basal ganglia.
The human mesencephalon is archipallian in origin, meaning its general architecture is shared with the most ancient of
vertebrates. Dopamineproduced in the substantia nigraplays a role in motivation and habituation of species from humans to the most elementary animals such as insects.
corpora quadrigemina("quadruplet bodies") are four solid optic lobes on the dorsal side of cerebral aqueduct, where the superior anterior pair are called the superior colliculi and the inferior posterior pair are called the inferior colliculi.The four solid optic lobes help to decussate several fibres of the optic nerve. However some fibers also show ipsilateral arrangement (i.e. they run parallel on the same side without decussating.)The superior colliculus is involved with saccadic eye movements; while the inferior is a synapsing point for sound information. The trochlear nervecomes out of the posterior surface of the midbrain, below the inferior colliculus.
cerebral pedunclesare paired structures, present on the ventral side of cerebral aqueduct, and they further carry tegmentumon the dorsal side and cresta or pes on the ventral side, and both of them accommodate the corticospinal tractfibres, from the internal capsule(i.e ascending + descending tracts = longitudinal tract.)the middle part of cerebral peduncles carry substantia nigra(also called "Black Matter") which is a type of basal nucleus. It is the only part of the brain that carries melanin pigment.
Between the peduncles is the interpeduncular fossa, which is a cistern filled with
cerebrospinal fluid. The occulomotor nervecomes out between the peduncles, and the trochlear nerve is visible wrapping around the outside of the peduncles.
Cross-Section Through the Midbrain
The midbrain is usually sectioned at the level of the superior and inferior colliculi.
A cross-section at the level of the superior colliculus shows the
red nucleus, the nuclei of the oculomotor nerve(and associated Edinger-Westphal nucleus), as well as the substantia nigra.
The substantia nigra is still present at inferior colliculus level. Also apparent are the
trochlear nervenucleus, and the decussation of the superior cerebellar peduncles.
cerebral aqueductruns through the midbrain, and is the communication between the third and fourth ventricle.
mnemonicthe mesencephalic cross-section resembles a bear (or teddybear) upside down with the two red nuclei as the eyes and the crus cerebri as the ears.
list of regions in the human brain
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