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basal nucleus

neuron cluster, found deep within the white matter of the cerebrum, that controls motor function/voluntary movement

Broca's area

area of the frontal lobe that is in charge of muscles for speech production


is located beneath the cerebrum and is part of the brain that processes information coming from motor neurons

cerebral cortex

area within the brain where thinking and voluntary actions originate

cerebrospinal fluid

fluid that surrounds the central nervous system and fills ventricles of the brain and central canal of the spinal cord; protects the central nervous system


part of the brain that is the site of higher-order thinking, memory, centralization of the information received by the senses, and control of voluntary movements

corpus callosum

tissue that connects the left and right hemispheres of the cerebrum


hard, bony structure within the head that houses the brain

decussation of the pyramids

where the group of nerve fibers crosses just above the area where the medulla oblongata meets the spinal cord


part of the brain that is composed of the thalamus, hypothalamus, and epithalamus

gyrus (plural, gyri)

each ridge that protrudes from the surface of the brain


part of the limbic system of the brain that is believed to form and store memories


part of the brain located just below the thalamus that is responsible for regulating metabolism. Most of the information processed by the limbic system goes through the hypothalamus.

inferior colliculus

part of the midbrain that contains an auditory relay center

limbic system

part of the brain that creates and controls emotions and forms memories

medulla oblongata

structure that is continuous with the spinal cord and controls several involuntary functions such as breathing, swallowing, and heart rate


controls vision, hearing, and motor control. The midbrain also controls sleep cycles, alertness, and regulation of body temperature.


fatty sheath that protects and nourishes some nerve cells and increases speed at which impulses travel


part of the brain stem located between the midbrain and the medulla oblongata that serves as a relay center, transmitting signals from different parts of the nervous system to the brain and back to the effector organs

reticular formation

collection of nerves that spans the entire brain stem and maintains alertness of the cerebrum

substantia nigra

structures in the midbrain that have a high melanin pigment concentration needed for the formation of neurotransmitters

sulcus (plural, sulci)

each of the grooves that separates the gyri on the surface of the brain

superior colliculus

one of the parts of the midbrain that contains visual reflex centers that cause the head and the eyes to work in conjunction when looking at an object


large gray mass at the top of the diencephalon responsible for sending sensory and motor signals to the cerebral cortex

Wernicke's area

part of the frontal lobe responsible for speech comprehension