Intro | Amygdala | Brainstem | Cerebellum | Cerebrum | Corpus Callosum | Reticular Formation | Hippocampus | Hypothalamus | Medulla | Pituitary Gland | Pons | Spinal Cord | Thalamus
Part 1: Image-Mapped Tutorial
Part 2: Matching Self-Test
Part 3: Multiple-Choice Self-Test
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The Thalamus is shaped like two footballs; each is located deep in the hemispheres of the forebrain. It serves as a relay station for information going to and leaving the cerebral cortex. Information from all sensory receptors except smell is processed in the thalamus before being sent to the cerebral cortex. The thalamus is also involved in the integration of information from the different sensory systems.
The word thalamus is derived from a Greek word meaning inner chamber or bridal bed. The largest nucleus of the thalamus is called the pulvinar (which means pillow) because it is shaped a little like a pillow on the "bridal bed". Each nucleus of the thalamus has specific connections with particular regions of the cerebral cortex.