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Brain, Encephalon 脑

Classification of the brain:
Telencephalon, cerebrum
(forebrain) diencephalon

Brain mesencephalon midbrain
Pons and cerebellum
rhombencephalon (metencephalon)
Medulla oblongata

Brain stem pons

Medulla oblongata
Section 2 Brain Stem
Ⅰ. External Features 外部形态

Cerebral peduncles

Interpeduncular fossa

Root of trigeminal N.

cerebellum Basilar sulcus


Anterior median fissure


Bulbopontine sulcus Decussation of pyramid

Anterior view of the braim stem
External feature
Exteral feature
External feature
Brain Stem anterior view
1. Optic chiasm
2. Optic nerve
3. Optic tract
4. Medial sulcus of the crus cerebri
5. Oculomotor nerve
6. Pons
7. Pyramidal eminence of the pons
8. Retroolivary fossa
9. Oliva
10. Posterolateral sulcus
11. Decusssation of the pyramids
12. Anterolateral sulcus
13. Lateral funiculus
14. Pyramid
15. Foramen caecum
16. Middle cerebellar pedunculus
17. Trigeminal nerve
18. Crus cerebri
19. Interpeduncular fossa,
posterior perforate substance
20. Mammillary body
21. Tuber cinereum
22. Infundibulum
External feature
Posterior view of the brain stem
1.Pineal gland
2.Thalamus ( Pulvinar )
3.Superior colliculus
4.Inferior colliculus
5.Lemniscal trigone
6.Frenulum veli
7.Superior medullary velum
8.Median sulcus
9.Gracile tubercle
10.Cuneate tubercle
11.Posterior intermediate sulcus
12.Posteromedian sulcus
13.Vagal trigone
14.Hypoglossal trigone
15.Striae medullares
16.Facial colliculus
17.Locus coeruleus
18.Parabrachial recess
19.Crus cerebri
20.Inferior collicular brachium
21.Medial geniculate body
22.Lateral geniculate body
23.Suoerior collicular brachium
25.Habenular commissure
The Brain stem - posterior view ,
External feature the cerebellum was removed.
1. Middle cerebellar peduncle
2. Superior cerebellar peduncle
3. Inferior cerebellar peduncle
4'.The medullary vestibular area
4''.The pontine vestibular area
5. Medial eminence
6. Facial colliculus
7. Hypoglossal trigone
8. Vagal trigone
9. Area postrema
10. Cinereum tubercle
11. Cuneate tubercle
12. Gracile tubercle
13. Posterolateral sulcus
14. Posterior intermediate sulcus
15. Posteromedian sulcus
16. Obex
17. Fovea inferior
18. Striae medullares
19. Sulcus limitans
20. Fovea superior
21. Locus coeruleus
22. Trochlear nerve
23. Frenulum veli
24. Superior medullary velum
Brain Stem lateral view
External feature 1. Medial geniculate body
2. Inferior collicular brachium
3. Superior colliculus
4. Inferior colliculus
5. Superior cerebellar
6. Rhomboid Fossa
7. Gracile fascicle
8. Cuneate fascicle
9. Lateral funiculus
10. Pyramid
11. Posterolateral sulcus
12. Oliva
13. Retroolivary fossa
14. Bulbopontine sulcus
15. Pons
16. Trigeminal nerve
17. Lateral sulcus of the crus
18. Pontomesencephalic
19. Crus cerebri
20. Optic nerve
21. Optic tract
22. Lateral geniculate body
23. Leminiscal trigone
24. Middle cerebellar peduncle
25. Inferior cerebellar peduncle
External feature

The fourth ventricle 第四脑室
1.Cerebral hemisphere
2.Corpus callosum
7.Medulla oblongata
Brain, Sagittal Section, Medial View
4.Medulla oblongata
Pons & Cerebellum, Sagittal Section, Medial View
5.Inferior colliculus
6.Superior medullary velum
7.Fourth ventricle
Ⅱ. Internal structure 内部结构

Cranial nerve nuclei 脑神经核

Non-cranial nerve nuclei 非脑神经核

Ascending and descending pathways 上、下行纤维束

Reticular formation 网状结构

Cranial nerve nuclei are referred to those nuclei located in the brain stem,
where the cranial nerves originate or terminate except the olfactory and optic
Non-cranial nerve nuclei are referred to those nuclei which are not linked
directly to any cranial nerves functionally or structurally
Ascending pathways include 1) pathways originate in the spinal cord and pass
the brain stem to higher region of the brain; 2) pathways originate in the brain
stem to higher region of the brain
Descending pathways originate in the same motor area of the cortex, but
terminate in 1) spinal cord and 2) brain stem
Reticular formation is recognized as an extensive field of intermingled grey
and white matter outside the fiber bundles and nuclei of the brain stem
Development of
the spinal cord
and brain stem
from the neural

1) Alar plate posterior
horn in SC; nuclei
outside sulcus limitans in BS
2) Basal plate anterior
horn in SC; nuclei inside
sulcus limitans in BS
Cranial nerve nucleus

6 functional columns of cranial nerve nuclei:
1) GSM striated muscles from somites; 2) GVM smooth muscle, cardiac
muscle and glands; 3) SVM striated muscles from brachial arches; 4) GSS
sensory stimuli from skin and mucosa of head; 5) GVS and SVS visceral
sense of thoracic and abdominal organs and taste; 6) SSS stimuli of sound
waves and position and movement of head
Special somatic sensory nuclei SSS
General visceral sensory nuclei GVS
Sulcus limitans
Special visceral sensory nuclei SVS
General somatic sensory nuclei GSS

General visceral motor nuclei GVM
General somatic motor nuclei GSM

Special visceral motor nuclei SVM
Cranial nerve nuclei

The composition of 6 functional columns:
General somatic motor nuclei: oculomotor
N. Trochlear N. abducent N. hypoglossal N.
General visceral motor nuclei: accessory
nucleus of oculomotor n. Superior salivatory
N. inferior salivatory N. dorsal nucleus of vagus
Special visceral motor nuclei: motor N. of
trigeminal n. N. of facial n. Nucleus ambiguus
N. of accessory n.
General and special visceral sensory
nuclei: nucleus of solitary tract
General somatic sensory nuclei: spinal N. of
trigeninal n. Pontine N. of trigeninal n.
Mesencephalic N. of trigeminal n. GSM G,SVS
Special somatic sensory nuclei: vestibular
nucleus complex cochlear nuclei
Cranial nerve nuclei

Accessory N. oculomoter Trochlear N.
Mesencephalic N. of Ⅴ
Oculomotor N.
Pontine N. of Ⅴ

Motor N. of trigeminal n.
Vestibular N.
Abducent N.
Nucleu Of facial n. Cochlear N.

Superior solivatory N.
Inferior solivatory N.
N. Of solitary tract
Spinal N. of trigeminal n.
Hypoglossal N.
Nucleus ambiguus N. Of accessory n.

Dorsal N. of vagus n.
Cranial nerve nuclei

Accessory N. of oculomotor n.
oculomotor N.
Troclear N.
Mesencephalic N. of Ⅴ
Motor N. of Ⅴ
Pontine N. of Ⅴ
N. Of facial n.
Vestibular N.
Cochlear N.

Superior salivatory N.
Inferior salivatory N.
Dorsal N. of vagus
N. Of hypoglossal n.
N. Of solitary truct
Spinal N. of Ⅴ
Accessory N.
Some of important non-cranial nerve nuclei
Nucleus gracile and nucleus cuneate: relay the fibers of
fasciculus gracilis and cuneatus respectively
Inferior olivary nuclear complex: a relay station for sensory
information ( mainly proprioceptive ) traveling to cerebellum
Pontine nuclei: relay stations on the passway from cerebral
cortex to the cerebellum
Inferior colliculus: reflex centers for auditory responses and concerned in
localization of source of sounds
Superior colliculus: reflex centers correlating movement of head and eyes and
serves to localize and follow visual stimuli.
Red nucleus: give off efferent fiber to form the rubrospinal tract and rubrobulbar
Substantia nigra: its
efferent fibers passing to
the striatum convey
dopamine to cerebrum; its
injury will cause
Parkinson’s disease
Level of pyramidal decussation

Level of medial lemniscus decussation
Mid-olivary level

Rostral olivary level
Level of facial colliculus

Level of trigeminal n.
Level of inferior colliculus

Level of superior colliculus
Long ascending pathways

Passing fibrous bundles which originate in the spinal cord:
1) Medial lemniscus: fibrous bundle formed by relayed fibers from fasciculi
cuneatus. The fibers
relay in gracile and
cuneate nuclei, and
decussate with
fibers of opposite
side, finally end in
the ventral
nucleus of thalamus
2) Spinothalamic
lemniscus :
composed of anterior
and posterior
spinothalamic tracts,
and terminate in the
ventral posterolateral
nucleus of thalamus
Long ascending pathways
Fibrous bundles originated in the brain stem:
1) Trigeminal lemniscus: formed by fibers from
contralateral spinal and pontine nuclei of trigeminal
n. It conducts the tactile, pressure, pain and
thermal impulses to the ventral posterolateral
nucleus of thalamus

2) Lateral lemniscus:
formed by the fibers from
the ipsilateral and
controlateral cochlear
nuclei; some of fibers
end in the inferior
colliculus, others
traverse the brachium of
inferior colliculus to the
nucleus of medial
geniculate body
Long descending pathways

Pyramidal tract : descending
fiber bundles originated in motor
cortex to lower motor neurons in
brain stem and spinal cord, It
includes 1) corticospinal tract
and 2) corticonuclear tract
Corticonuclear tract: teminates
successively in the motor nuclei
of the cranial nerves on both
sides of the brain stem except
the lower half of facial nucleus
and hypoglossal nerve
The motor nuclei include the
nuclei of general somatic motor
and special visceral motor
columns: oculomotor n. troclear
n. abducent n. hypoglossal n.
motor N. of trigeminal n. facial n.
nucleus ambiguus and
accessory nucleus