The Cortex Machina project has its origins in a deeply rooted fascination with neurobiology in general, and the biological origins of consciousness in particular. Unfortunately, it can often be very challenging to discuss and share these fascinating concepts, simply because they generally require a lot of prior knowledge which is, to say the least, quite unfamiliar to most people. That’s why we have started this series of short columns: to kindle interest in the fields of neuroscience and neurobiology and to provide my readers with enough general knowledge on the human brain and cognition to start exploring and sharing these fascinating concepts themselves. We will start with a series of articles on brain anatomy, to provide the reader with an understanding of brain architecture and nomenclature, which will be helpful later on when we discuss other topics. So without further ado, let’s enter now into your MidBrain!
The Midbrain (Mesencephalon)
Figure 1: the Midbrain, or mesencephalon.
The Midbrain, which directly forms out of the middle vesicle of the first division of the neural tube, acts most notably as the information superhighway connecting the forebrain (= diencephalon + telencephalon) and the hindbrain (= pons, medulla oblongata, and cerebellum). It enables your brain to integrate sensory information from your eyes and ears with your muscle movement.
If we divide the brain into Cerebrum, Cerebellum, and brainstem, the midbrain is part of, and situated at the top of the brainstem (consisting of the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata) and under the diencephalon, as can be seen on Fig. 2. Note that the midbrain bifurcates into two different “strands”, each going towards a different hemisphere. One could say that this is where the hemispheres ‘begin’.
Figure 2: The brainstem, consisting of the medulla oblongata, pons, and midbrain.
So now that we’ve familiarized ourselves with some basic nomenclature of the overall brain architecture, let’s get back to a peculiarity that we haven’t properly addressed throughout this article: why the hell do we have two cerebral hemispheres, and what do they do? This will be the subject of the next article in our “Explain the Brain” column, so be sure to subscribe to the Cortex Machina news feed to never miss a new article!
Also, visit us at https://cortex-machina.com/ to read further articles on neurobiology, neuroscience, Brain-to-Computer Interface technology (BCI), neuro-gaming, machine learning neural pattern recognition, and much more!
A big thanks for your reading from the entire Cortex Machina team!
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