October 1 - Diencephalon.docx

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Anatomy and Cell Biology
Anatomy and Cell Biology 3319

October 1, 2013 Diencephalon Pp. 390-393 - Know the major subdivisions of the thalamus, their main connections and primary function - Describe the location and major functions of the hypothalamus and epithalamus - Diencephalon is surrounded by the cerebral hemispheres - Consists of: *Summary* o Thalamus (thalamic nuclei)  Processes and relays information to the cerebral cortex o Hypothalamus  Functions as the main visceral control center, involved with:  Control of the ANS  Control of emotional responses  Regulation of body temperature, hunger, and thirst sensations  Control of behavior  Regulation of sleep-wake cycles  Control of the endocrine system  Formation of memory o Epithalamus (pineal gland)  Secretes melatonin, which induces sleep o Subthalamus (includes subthalamic nucleus) - Border the third ventricle - Consist of gray matter Thalamus - Makes up 80% of diencephalon - Forms the superolateral walls of the third ventricle - “Inner room” - Interthalamic adhesion (intermediate mass): connection between left and right parts of thalamus - Contains about a dozen major nuclei o Each sends axons to particular part of cerebral cortex - Ventral posterolateral nuclei act as relay stations for sensory information ascending to the primary sensory areas of cerebral cortex - Afferent impulses from all conscious senses except olfaction (smell) converge on thalamus and synapse in at least one of its nuclei o Ex, Medial geniculate body receives auditory input - “Gateway” to cerebral cortex - Doesn’t only relay information, also processes information as it passes through - Thalamic nuclei organize and then either amplify or “tone down” the signals headed for the cerebral cortex o Process and “edit” info before sending it along - Categories of thalamic nuclei: o Modality specific (to primary cortical areas, sensory and motor) o Association (anterior, LD, LP, MD and pulvinar) o Non-specific (reticular to thalamic for arousal and intralaminar group to all areas for cortical arousal) Hypothalamus - “below the thalamus” - Forms the inferolateral walls of the third ventricle - Lies between the optic chiasm (point of crossover of cranial nerves II, the optic nerves) and the mammillary bodies (rounded bumps that bulge from the hypothalamic floor)
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