This photographic view of the brain is sectioned in the coronal plane and shows the internal aspect of the hemispheres. On the dorsolateral view (small figure, upper left) the plane of section goes through both the frontal and the temporal lobes and would include the region of the basal ganglia. From the medial perspective (the figure on the upper right), the section includes the body of the lateral ventricles with the corpus callosum above, the anterior portion of the thalamus, and the third ventricle; the edge of the section also passes through the hypothalamus, the mammillary nucleus, and includes the optic tracts. The section passes in front of the anterior part of the midbrain, the cerebral peduncles, and the front tip of the pons.
The cerebral cortex, the gray matter, lies on the external aspect of the hemispheres and follows its outline into the sulci in between, wherever there is a surface. The deep interhemispheric fissure is seen between the two hemispheres, above the corpus callosum (not labeled, see Figure 16 and Figure 17). The lateral fissure is also present, well seen on the left side of the photograph (also not labeled), with the insula within the depths of this fissure (see Figure 14B and Figure 39).
The white matter is seen internally; it is not possible to separate out the various fiber systems of the white matter (see Figure 19A and Figure 19B). Below the corpus callosum are the two spaces, the cavities of the lateral ventricle, represented at this plane by the body of the ventricles (see Figure 20B, Figure 25, and Figure 76). The small gray matter on the side of the lateral ventricle is the body of the caudate nucleus (see Figure 23, Figure 25,
Figure 27, and Figure 76). Because the section was not cut symmetrically, the inferior horn of the lateral ventricle is found only on the right side of this photograph, in the temporal lobe.
The brain is sectioned in the coronal plane through the diencephalic region. The gray matter on either side of the third ventricle is the thalamus (see Figure 11). Lateral to this is a band of white matter, which by definition is part of the internal capsule, with the lentiform nucleus on its lateral side. In order to identify which part this is, the learner should refer to the section in the horizontal plane (see Figure 26 and Figure 27); the portion between the thalamus and lentiform nucleus is the posterior limb.
The parts of the lentifrom nucleus seen in this view include the putamen as well as the two portions of the globus pallidus, the external and internal segments. Since the brain has not been sectioned symmetrically, the two portions are more easily identified on the right side of the photograph. The claustrum has also been labeled (see below). The structures noted in this section should be compared with a similar (coronal) view of the brain taken more posteriorly (see Figure 74).
The gray matter within the temporal lobe, best seen on the left side of the photograph, is the amygdala (see Figure OL, Figure 25, and Figure 75A). It is easy to understand why this nucleus is considered one of the basal ganglia, by definition. Its function, as well as that of the fornix, will be explained with the limbic system section of this atlas (Section D).
Lateral to the lentiform nucleus is another thin strip of gray matter, the claustrum. The functional contribution of this small strip of tissue is not really known. The claustrum is also seen in the horizontal section (see Figure 27). Lateral to this is the cortex of the insula, inside the lateral fissure (see Figure 14B and Figure 39).
Corpus callosum Fornix
Lateral ventricle (body)
Caudate nucleus (body)
Foramen of Monro
Internal capsule (posterior limb)
Lateral ventricle (inferior horn)
F = Frontal lobe Th = Thalamus
T = Temporal lobe
A = Amygdala
Lat = Lateral fissure
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