The shape and size of the brains of different species vary greatly, and identifying common features is often difficult. Nevertheless, there are a number of principles of brain architecture that apply across a wide range of species. Some aspects of brain structure are common to almost the entire range of animals species; others distinguish "advanced" brains from more primitive ones, or distinguish vertebrates from invertebrates.
The simplest way to gain information about brain anatomy is by visual inspection, but many more sophisticated techniques have been developed. Brain tissue in its natural state is too soft to work with, but it can be hardened by immersion in alcohol or other fixatives, and then sliced apart for examination of the interior. Visually, the interior of the brain consists of areas of so-called grey matter, with a dark color, separated by areas of white matter, with a lighter color. Further information can be gained by staining slices of brain tissue with a variety of chemicals that bring out areas where specific types of molecules are present in high concentrations. It is also possible to examine the microstructure of brain tissue using a microscope, and to trace the pattern of connections from one brain area to another.
Read more about this topic: Brain
Other articles related to "anatomy":
... Comparative anatomy relates to the comparison of anatomical structures (both gross and microscopic) in different animals ... Anthropological anatomy or physical anthropology relates to the comparison of the anatomy of different races of humans ... Artistic anatomy relates to anatomic studies for artistic reasons ...
... anatomists began their careers as prosectors working for lecturers and demonstrators in anatomy and pathology ... prepared by a prosector – a person who is well versed in anatomy and who therefore prepares a specimen so that others may study and learn anatomy from it ...
... A relationship between the somatosensory cortical areas and their projection of the body was discovered by recording electrical activity in the human cortex after mechanosensory stimulation of different body parts during neurosurgical procedures ... These data led to the construction of somatotopic maps in which a Somatotopic arrangement was generated ...
... should have a thorough understanding of anatomy ... He wrote, "A surgeon who does not know his anatomy is like a blind man carving a log" ...
... The mouth is lined by a black colored mucosa, although the large and heavy tongue is pink ... The palate is wrinkled in texture, and the tongue is lined with numerous grooves, apparently adaptations to the sloth's diet ...
Famous quotes containing the word anatomy:
“I love to see, when leaves depart,
The clear anatomy arrive,”
—Roy Campbell (19021957)
“But a man must keep an eye on his servants, if he would not have them rule him. 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. But it is found that the machine unmans the user. What he gains in making cloth, he loses in general power.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“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)