How to Draw Midbrain Cross-section ?

The cross-section of midbrain can be compared to the “upside down striped face of a red-eyed demon“.

midbrain demon

Using this analogy of a demon face, lets assign the structures found on the cross-section of midbrain:

  1. Ear = Crus cerebri
    • Medial – frontopontine fibers
    • Middle – corticonuclear and corticospinal tract
    • Lateral – temporopontine fibers
  2. Eye brows = Substantia nigra
  3. Red eyes = Red nucleus
  4. Bridge of nose = Raphe nucleus
  5. Ala of nose = Median longitudinal fasciculus (MLF)
  6. Nostrils = Cranial nerve nucleus
    • CN III in superior section
    • CN IV in inferior section
  7. Whiskers = Cranial nerves
    • CN III – towards head
    • CN IV – towards chin
  8. Stripe = Lemniscus
    • Towards head – Medial lemniscus
    • Middle – Spinal lemniscus (Spinothalamic tract)
    • Towards chin – Lateral lemniscus
  9. Zygoma = Medial geniculate body
  10. Mouth = Cerebral Aqueduct
  11. Lips = Peri-aqueductal grey
  12. Angle of mouth = Mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus
  13. Chin = Colliculus
    • Superior colliculus in superior section
    • Inferior colliculus in inferior section

Now, lets label them:

midbrain cross-section

Another important mnemonic that everyone must remember is that:

  • Motor tracts are towards Midline
  • Sensory tracts are towards Side

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