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Inferior view of the brain

Learning objectives

This study unit will teach you how to:

  1. Describe the visible parts of the brain on the inferior view.
  2. Name and demarcate the 2 parts of the inferior surface of the cerebrum.
  3. Identify the main gyri and sulci seen on each part of the inferior surface of the cerebrum.

Watch video

The brain is composed of three major parts: the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brain stem. The cerebrum is the largest of those three parts and it contains the brain lobes. It demonstrates a superolateral, a medial and an inferior surface. In the previous study units, we saw the features of the superolateral and the medial surfaces. In this study unit we will examine the inferior surface of the brain and we will focus on the cerebrum as well as on the other structures that are visible through this view.

The inferior surface of the cerebrum is divided by a prominent groove called the lateral (Sylvian) sulcus into an anterior and a posterior part.

  • The anterior part represents the orbital surface of the frontal lobe that lies on the floor of the anterior cranial fossa. The most important landmarks on the orbital part are the 3 orbital gyri, and the straight gyrus.
  • The posterior part represents the basal aspects of the temporal and occipital lobes that lie on the floor of the middle cranial fossa and the upper surface of the tentorium cerebelli. The tentorial part is marked by the inferior temporal, inferior occipital and lingual gyri, and the fusiform gyrus.

Besides the cortical areas, there are some structures of the diencephalon and brainstem that are visible in this inferior view of the brain. Watch the following video to find out more about all those structures and striking features of the brain seen on the inferior surface!

Take a quiz

Take the following quiz to test and consolidate your knowledge about the features seen on the inferior surface of the cerebrum!

Try out our fully customisable quiz below and tailor it to your own needs by creating your own selection of structures to be quizzed on!

Browse atlas

Take a closer look at all the individual structures seen on the inferior view of the brain in this atlas gallery!

Summary

Structures visible on the inferior view of the brain
Cerebrum Anterior part:
Gyri: Straight gyrus; anterior, posterior, medial and lateral orbital gyri
Sulci: Olfactory sulcus, lateral sulcus

Posterior part
:
Gyri: Lingual gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, medial occipitotemporal gyrus, lateral occipitotemporal gyrus, inferior temporal gyrus
Sulci: Collateral sulcus, rhinal sulcus, midfusiform sulcus, occipitotemporal sulcus
Diencephalon Pituitary gland, mammillary body, medial and lateral geniculate bodies
Brainstem Cerebral peduncle, substantia nigra, red nucleus, aqueduct of midbrain

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