Introduction    Forebrain    Midbrain    Hindbrain    Spinal Cord    Cerebral Vasculature  

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Brain Atlas

Midbrain Midbrain

The midbrain sits between the forebrain and the hindbrain and is approximately 2 cm long. It forms a major part of the brainstem; the name given to the part of the brain which connects the spinal cord and the forebrain. The dorsal surface of the midbrain forms the tectum, meaning 'roof'. The ventral surface is characterised by two large fibre bundles, the cerebral peduncles, containing axons that travel between the cerebral cortex, the brainstem and the spinal cord. The cerebral peduncles divide the brain into two halves. Each half is further divided into an anterior and posterior part by a band of grey matter, the substantia nigra. These structures form important connections between the cerebral cortex and the brainstem and spinal cord to control sensory processes such as vision and movement.

Disorders that affect the midbrain



Substantia nigra

Parkinson's disease

NB: stroke can occur in the midbrain


Last updated: 20.12.2011





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