The Sciences

More Etymological Maps of the Brain

Neuroskeptic iconNeuroskepticBy NeuroskepticNov 10, 2014 9:58 AM

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By popular demand, here are some more etymological maps of the brain - images illustrating what the names of the parts of the brain actually mean. If you missed the first one, it's here. First off, an axial cross-section: the image is adapted from here. Most of the meanings are from this excellent page.

And below is a zoomed-in cross section of the 'little brain', the cerebellum - the image is adapted from here:

* The word "hilus" has an interesting history. In Latin, it originally meant "an unimportant thing, a trifle". However, later scholars thought that it meant "something stuck to a bean" (which would indeed be a very minor thing) and this gave rise to the pseudo-Latin word hilus (or hilum) meaning in botany "the scar on a seed or bean marking the point of attachment to its seed vessel". Anatomists then borrowed the word to mean "a depression or fissure through which nerves, blood vessels etc. enter and leave an organ" - in this case, the opening of the "mouth" of the dentate nucleus.

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