2-Minute Neuroscience: Directional Terms in Neuroscience
  • View Times: 0
  • |
  • Release Date: 2024-05-13
Playlist
  • brain
  • spinal cord
  • nervous system
Video Introduction

There are several terms that we use to indicate direction in neuroscience. Some are very straightforward. For example, superior always means towards the top of the head, inferior always means towards the feet. Likewise, anterior always refers to the front of the body or the brain, while posterior always refers to the back of the body or the brain.

There are also some terms, however, like dorsal and ventral, that change their meaning depending on whether we are referring to the brain or the spinal cord. When used for animals that move through the world horizontally, dorsal refers to the back and ventral refers to the abdominal region. With humans, the same usage applies when we are looking at the spinal cord. At the junction between the top of the brainstem and the diencephalon, however, the axis shifts due to the fact that humans walk upright. Above this level dorsal refers to the superior portion of the brain and ventral refers to the inferior portion.

A similar situation occurs with the terms rostral and caudal. Rostral means towards the nose and caudal means towards the tail. In animals that swim or walk on all fours these orientations are consistent, but in humans they shift at the brainstem-diencephalon junction. At the level of the spinal cord, rostral points up towards the head while caudal points down towards the end of the cord. In the brain, however, rostral points towards the anterior part of the brain while caudal points toward the posterior part of the brain.

The brain can also be examined on three different planes, and these planes are used to describe ways the brain is often sliced into sections for examination. A sagittal section is seen when a slice down the middle of the brain divides the brain into two separate halves. A horizontal or transverse section is made by slicing the brain perpendicular to the long axis of the body. A coronal or frontal section is seen when a slice is made parallel to the long axis of the body. When looking at the brain or spinal cord in any orientation, the parts of the brain that are closer to the midline are called medial, while those that are closer to the sides are called lateral. [1]

References
  1. Nolte J. The Human Brain: An Introduction to its Functional Anatomy. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA. Elsevier; 2009.
Full Transcript
1000/1000

Confirm

Are you sure to Delete?
Cite
If you have any further questions, please contact Encyclopedia Editorial Office.
Challenged, N. 2-Minute Neuroscience: Directional Terms in Neuroscience. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1244 (accessed on 21 May 2024).
Challenged N. 2-Minute Neuroscience: Directional Terms in Neuroscience. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1244. Accessed May 21, 2024.
Challenged, Neuroscientifically. "2-Minute Neuroscience: Directional Terms in Neuroscience" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1244 (accessed May 21, 2024).
Challenged, N. (2024, May 13). 2-Minute Neuroscience: Directional Terms in Neuroscience. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1244
Challenged, Neuroscientifically. "2-Minute Neuroscience: Directional Terms in Neuroscience." Encyclopedia. Web. 13 May, 2024.
Video Production Service