Internal brain anatomy

Sheep brain labeled

A much more detailed neuroanatomical picture is apparent in gross or histological slices, or sections, through the brain. In these sections, deep structures that are not visible from any brain surface can be identified. In addition, relationships between brain structures seen from the surface can be appreciated more fully. The major challenge to understanding the internal anatomy of the brain is to integrate the rostral/caudal, dorsal/ventral, and medio-lateral landmarks seen on the brain surface with the position of structures seen in brain sections taken in the horizontal, frontal, or sagittal plane. This challenge is not only important for understanding brain function, it is also essential for interpreting noninvasive images of the brain (Boxes B and C), most of which are displayed as sections.

Anatomical Brain Imaging Techniques. Until the early 1970s, the only technique available for imaging the structure of a living brain was X-ray technology. Conventional X-rays, however, have poor soft tissue contrast, involve relatively high radiation (more...)

Functional Brain Imaging: PET, SPECT, and MRI. The most informative brain imaging techniques for monitoring brain function now rely on detecting small changes in blood flow to visualize active areas of the brain. The brain utilizes a remarkably large (more...)

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