Tutorial 6: Central Nervous System

Intro | Forebrain | Midbrain | Hindbrain

Part 1: Image-Mapped Tutorial
Part 2: Matching Self-Test
Part 3: Multiple-Choice Self-Test

Return to main tutorial page

Major Divisions

The Central Nervous System (CNS) is divided into three major divisions, the hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain. The structure and function of the hindbrain and midbrain in humans is very similar to those in lower animals. The forebrain, which is more highly developed in the human, is the division that distinguishes humans from other mammals.

Figure 6 illustrates the main location of each CNS division, and provides a description of the primary functions associated with each.

Suggestions for further study


Cowan, W. M. (1979, September). The development of the brain, Scientific American, 241(3), 113-133.

Gordon, B. (1972, December). The superior colliculus of the brain, Scientific American, 227(6), 72-82.

Hubel, D.H. (1979, September). The brain, Scientific American, 241(3), 44-53.

Luria, A.R. (1970, March). The functional organization of the brain. Scientific American, 222(3), 66-72.

Nauta, W.J.H. & Feirtag, M. (1979, September). The organization of the brain. Scientific American, 241(3), 88-111.


(Brain and Mind - Electronic Magazine)
Cardoso, State University of Campinas, Brazil

(Brain and Behavior Essay - Resource IndexCent)
Serendip, Click-on list of Brain & Behavior Essays

(Brain Stem Neuroanatomy Lab)
Loyola University Medical Center, Sections throughout the brain stem.

(The Global Cerebellum '97)
Hartig, University of Wisconsin Medical School

(The Global Thalamus '97)
University of Wisconsin Medical School

(The Virtual Hospital - The Human Brain)
Williams, Gluhbegovic & Jew, University of Iowa
A superb detailed atlas of human brain dissections.

(The Whole Brain Atlas - Harvard University)
Johnson & Becker, Harvard University and Massachusetts Inst. of Technology

(The Digital Anatomist Project)
University of Washington, On-line Interactive Atlas including 3-D computer graphics, MRI scans and tissue sections.

(Brain evolution and neurolinguistic preconditions)
Wilkins, W.K. & Wakefield, J. (1995). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (1): 161-226.