What are the main parts/divisions of vertebrate (human) brain?

The brain of the developing embryo first becomes apparent as an enlargement of the anterior end of the neural tube. As the brain enlarges, it differentiates into three portions: the forebrain or prosencephalon; mid brain or mesencephalon; and hind brain or rhombencephalon. Associated with the enlargements, there is of necessity a folding which takes place primarily at three points: between spinal cord and hind brain is the cervical flexure; between hind brain and midbrain, the pointine flexure; and between the midbrain and forebrain is the cephalic flexure. The primary parts of the brain further divide as follows: Fig. 2.11



Embryonic vesicle

Early embryo Late embryo components in Main compadults Function
Forebrain (Prosence- phalon TelencephalonDiencephalon Cerebrum olfactory bulb Limbic system corpus striatumThalamus Motor area controls voluntary muscle movements; sensory cortex is center of conscious perception of touch, pressure, vibration, pain, temperature, and taste; association areas integrate and process sensory data, sense of smellPart of limbic system; integrates sensory information arriving at


Midbrain (Mesence­phalon)Hindbrain (Rhomben­cephalon) MesencephalonMetencephalon


HypothalamusPituitary gland Pineal gland

Optic lobes (tectum)

Midbrain nuclei





Medulla oblongata

thalamus, projects to cerebral frontal lobesControls autonomic functions; sets appetitive drives (thirst, hunger, sexual desire) and reproductive behavior; participates in emotional responses; secretes ADH, oxytocin; secretes releasing hormones for anterior pituitary regulation

Pituitary hormones

Controls body rhythms.

Integrates visual information with other sensory inputs; relays auditory information

Involuntary control of muscle one; processing of incoming sensations and outgoing motor commands

Involuntary coordination and control of outgoing movements for equilibrium, muscle tone, posture

Links cerebellum with other brain centers and with medulla and spinal cord; modifies output of respiratory centers in medulla Regulates heart rate and force of contraction; vasomotor control; sets rate of respiration; relays information to the cerebellum



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