The thalamus

Reading instructions
To get the most out of this learning tool, please read:
Bear, Mark F, Connors, Barry W., Paradiso, Michael A. Neuroscience : exploring the brain. - 2 ed.
Chapter 7 page 163-252

Illustrations and anmimation

Thalamus is a large elliptical grey mass of nuclei positioned in each hemisphere on each side of the third ventricle interconnected by the interthalamic adhesion/ adhesio interthalamica. Myelinated fiber bundles emerge from the lateral surface of thalamus and terminate in the cerebral cortex. There are five major groups of thalamic nuclei, each with specific fiber connections. Thalamus is the principle relay station for sensory impulses from the spinal cord, brainstem, cerebellum and other parts of the cerebrum to the cortex.

The anterior choroidal artery provides blood supply of the thalamus.

Hypothalamus is the most inferior part of the diencephalon and lies below and in front of thalamus and forms the floor and part of the lateral walls of the third ventricle. Hypothalamus contains several small nuclei involved in the integration of the functions of the autonomic nervous system and control of endocrine hormone release from the pituitary gland.

Corpora mamillaria/the mamillary bodies are nuclei involved in olfactory reflexes and emotional responses to odors and appear as bulges on the ventral surface.

A stalk, the infundibulum, extends from the floor of the hypothalamus, connecting it to the posterior pituitary gland, also called the neurohypophysis.

Hypothalamus gets its blood supply both from the anterior cerebral artery/ a.cerebri anterior and the posterior cerebral artery/ a.cerebri posterior.