Hippocampus anatomy describes the physical aspects and properties of the hippocampus, a neural structure in the medial temporal lobe of the brain that has a distinctive, curved shape that has been likened to the sea horse monster of Greek mythology and the ram's horns of Amun in Egyptian mythology. This general layout holds across the full range of mammalian species, from hedgehog to human, although the details vary. For example, in the rat, the two hippocampi look similar to a pair of bananas, joined at the stems. In primate brains, including humans, the portion of the hippocampus near the base of the temporal lobe is much broader than the part at the top. Due to the three-dimensional curvature of this structure, two-dimensional sections such as shown are commonly seen. Neuroimaging pictures can show a number of different shapes, depending on the angle and location of the cut.
Topologically, the surface of a cerebral hemisphere can be regarded as a sphere with an indentation where it attaches to the midbrain. The structures that line the edge of the hole collectively make up the so-called limbic system (Latin limbus = border), with the hippocampus lining the posterior edge of this hole. These limbic structures include the hippocampus, cingulate cortex, olfactory cortex, and amygdala. Paul MacLean once suggested, as part of his triune brain theory, that the limbic structures comprise the neural basis of emotion. While most neuroscientists no longer believe in the concept of a unified "limbic system", these regions are highly interconnected and do interact with one another.
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Famous quotes containing the word anatomy:
“Man is a shrewd inventor, and is ever taking the hint of a new machine from his own structure, adapting some secret of his own anatomy in iron, wood, and leather, to some required function in the work of the world.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)