Three central brain structures of the diencephalon (human brain seen in sagittal section).
|Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy|
The diencephalon or interbrain[help 1] is one of the major regions of the brain in vertebrates. It consists of several structures between the brainstem and the cerebrum, including the thalamus, hypothalamus, epithalamus, pituitary gland, and pineal gland. Embryologically, the diencephalon begins as the region of the embryonic vertebrate neural tube that gives rise to posterior forebrain structures. In prenatal development, the forebrain (prosencephalon) is the most anterior vesicle of the neural tube that later forms both the diencephalon and the telencephalon (which develops into the cerebrum).
The optic nerve (CNII) attaches to the diencephalon. The optic nerve is a sensory (afferent) nerve responsible for vision; it runs from the eye through the optic canal in the skull and attaches to the diencephalon. The retina itself is derived from the optic cup, a part of the embryonic diencephalon.
The diencephalon is the region of the embryonic vertebrate neural tube that gives rise to posterior forebrain structures including the thalamus, hypothalamus, posterior portion of the pituitary gland, and pineal gland. The hypothalamus performs numerous vital functions, most of which relating directly or indirectly to the regulation of visceral activities by way of other brain regions and the autonomic nervous system.
- Stained brain slice images which include the "diencephalon" at the BrainMaps project
- NIF Search - Diencephalon via the Neuroscience Information Framework