Neuroanatomy for Literati Cortical and Subcortical Regions

The vocabulary of modern psychiatry is filled with terms from neuroscience and neurobiology. Twenty years ago people impressed one another at cocktail parties by discussing cathexis, counterphobic reactions, or libidinal drives.Today they get together informally and sip Evian laced with a lime slice while discussing the amygdala or the frontal lobes.

One can no longer carry on a conversation with many people without knowing at least a smattering of elementary brain anatomy.

On the large scale the nervous system is divided into several major territories: the cerebrum (composed of the left and right cerebral hemispheres, joined by the corpus callosum), the cerebellum (little brain), the diencephalon, the midbrain, the pons (bridge, so-called because it connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord and cerebellum), and the spinal cord. These are shown schematically in Figure 4-6. Inside the brain small islands of neurons are clustered together in a sea of white matter or CSF. Many of these territories or islands were given poetic names in Greek or Latin by early neuroanatomists. (See Table 4-2.)

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