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Brain Maps: Brain Anatomy, Functions and Disorders

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The following table shows the brain regions from the cortex to the brain stem with their functions and associated disorders in English, German and Latin. All references (mainly links to abstracts) are only given in place of many other studies that point towards the same function or disorder. Neither do they represent the first nor the only or most important or valid finding in this area. Their main purpose is to encourage further study on these subjects. Our selection of a specific reference does not represent an evaluation of the respective study or finding per se or in comparison with other studies. If you feel that we have omitted an important study, function or disorder that should definitely be included in the relevant section, or if you have any questions, comments, additions or objections, please feel free to send us an e-mail. Thank you for your interest!

Please click on the little pictures or links to learn more about a specific brain region (BA=Brodmann Area). One click on 'S' will lead you to the source (this will open a new tab or window). Please excuse any potential mistakes in spelling or grammar. This site was developed by a German who then translated it into (hopefully readable) American English.

Please note that the execution of a certain function is never bound to one region alone but requires complex neural conduction along several pathways connecting those brain regions that are specialized in this function or contribute to it in any way (previous knowledge, flight instinct, anticipation of outcomes...)

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Brain map ACC Corpus Callosum PCC Cerebellum Pons OFC Medulla Parietal Occipital PFC DMFC Motorcortex pACC midbrain Mammillary pineal pituitary Temporal Hypothalamus Amygdala Fornix Thalamus

You might like this too: Open Colleges' interactive 3D Brain.

Brain region in English

Acronym, Latin, BA

Brain region in German

Functions & Disorders

1. Forebrain





1.1. Telencephalon (Cerebrum)
1.2. Diencephalon



Tel, Cerebrum

Endhirn, Großhirn

Cognitive control

1.1.1. Cortex
1.1.2. Basal ganglia
1.1.3. Olfactory bulb
1.1.1.Cerebral cortex


Cortex cerebri

Großhirnrinde, Kortex

Functions: Motor function, hearing, vision, smell, memory, cognition, speech, ego... Parietal lobes Occipital lobes Insular lobes Frontal lobes Temporal lobes Cingulate gyrus lobe

Brain section

PL, Lobus parietalis,
BA 1-3, 5, 7, 39, 40, 43


Picture: Brodmann Areas and their functions. Please click to enlarge.

Parietallappen, Scheitellappen

Functions: Somatosensory, visuospatial, computation, reading, 'Self', selective attention (superior), episodic memory encoding (left posterior) S

Pain (both cognitive recognition - even when only observing a situation - and processing) S

Disorders: Gerstmann's Syndrome, Balint's Syndrome, Autism S, Asperger Syndrome; Huntington's Disease S Anterior Parietal Cortex Posterior Parietal Cortex Precuneus Temporoparietal Junction
~ Anterior parietal cortex APL Vorderer Parietallappen Function: Somatosensory
~~ Postcentral gyrus PoG, BA 3 Postzentraler Gyrus Function: Primary somatosensory

Disorders: Borderline PD (Dissociation, left hemisphere) S, Schizophrenia S
~ Intraparietal sulcus IPS, Sulcus intraparietalis Intraparietaler Sulcus Functions: Perceptual-motor coordination (eye movements, reaching)

Visual attention

Processing of symbolic numeric information S, visuospatial working memory S

Interpretation of the intent of others S

Cerebral Gyri

Lateral GyriMedial GyriBasal Gyri

Please click on the pictures to enlarge them. S

~ Posterior parietal cortex PPL Hinterer Parietallappen Functions: Visual, spatial; part of the motor cortex: transformation of visual information into motor commands

Action planning when there is response competition S
~~ Superior parietal lobule SPL, BA 5, 7 Oberes Parietalläppchen Functions: Visual movement control and stimulus detection in space, spatial attention (transition from one stimulus to the next)

Disorders: Borderline PD (Dissociation) S
~~ Inferior parietal lobule IPL, BA 39, 40 Unteres Parietalläppchen Functions: Spatial thinking, "quasi-spatial" procedures (calculation, reading), Theory of Mind ToM S

Response inhibition S

Disorders: Schizophrenia S
~ Precuneus

PCu, BA 7 Precuneus Functions: Visuospatial imagery, episodic memory, self-processing operations (first-person perspective taking and an experience of agency), self-consciousness, self-related mental representations S, Theory of Mind ToM S

Communication tasks with familiar actors (with access to biographical information) S

Disorders: Borderline PD (Dissociation, right hemisphere) S, Anorexia Nervosa S, Schizophrenia S
~ Temporoparietal junction

Temporoparietal junction

TPJ Temporoparietaler Übergang Functions: Response inhibition S, emotion regulation S, self-awareness and agency S

Multisensory information integration S

Social skills (Theory of Mind ToM S, empathy) S, understanding of social intentions (left: communicative) S, perspective differences (decoupling of beliefs from reality; false beliefs) S

* Right hemisphere: Bottom-up computational processes (reorienting attention to salient stimuli, sense of agency) S, belief attribution during moral judgment S

* Left hemisphere: behavioral aspects of communicative speech production (context of social interaction) S

Disorder: Dissociation (here: out-of-body experience) S

- zurück nach oben - lobe

Occipital lobe

OL, Lobus occipitalis,
BA 17-19
Okzipitallappen, Hinterhauptslappen, visuelles System Functions: Vision, colour recognition, (hearing)
~ Primary and secondary visual cortex

Visuelles System
V1-5, BA 17 (V1) Primäres und sekundäres Sehzentrum Function: Vision
~ Cuneus

Cun Cuneus Functions: Visual and spatial attention, autobiographical memory (S)

Disorder: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S lobe

IL, Lobus insularis,
BA 13, 14

Inselrinde Functions: Body perception, subjective emotional experiences, conscious emotions, observation of noxious or disgusting stimuli S, Addiction (craving) S, empathy S, empathy with pain S, inequity coding S

Decision making under risk S

Important part of the reward system: adjustments of motor responses following reward/ punishment S

'Pessimistic' bias: internal adaptation and preparation processes in order to act according to potential or certain unpleasant events S

Response inhibition S; pain (anterior); suppression of pain (posterior) S, modulation of pain perception S

Disorders: Addiction, PTSD S, S (right, anterior), Depression S, S; Huntington's Disease S, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S, S, Tinnitus S lobe

LF, Lobus frontalis,
BA 4, 6, 8-12, 44-47
Frontallappen, Stirnlappen

Functions: Planning, coordination, 'values', motivation, impulse control, power of judgment, problem solving, socialisation, speech production, working memory, motor skills, sexual behavior, facial expression...

Disorder: Autism S
~ Prefrontal cortex

PFC, Regio frontalis

Präfrontaler Kortex Functions: Executive functions: impulse control, emotion and behavior control, cognition, planning, 'personality', social adjustment, 'appropriate' behavior, goal and value orientation, power of judgment, differentiation, selection, decision making, providence, potential outcome orientation

Working memory S

High number of interconnections between both the Limbic system and the RAS


- zurück nach oben -

~~ Orbitofrontal cortex

Orbitofrontaler Cortex
OFC, Cortex orbitofrontalis,
BA 10-12, 47
Orbitofrontaler Kortex

Functions: Emotion control, impulse control, (social) adjustment

Appraisal of the emotional and motivational values of environmental information, (while integrating the subject's prior experience), which is crucial in decision-making S

Operant Conditioning: the use of consequences (reward, punishment) to modify the occurrence and form of behavior S, reaction to punishers - like ostracism - and reinforcers - like food and praise - (evaluation S, monitoring, learning, storage), and the resulting behavior; context-dependent regulation of amygdala-dependent autonomic and behavioral arousal governed by external cues S; craving (nicotine) S; fear extinction (mOFC) S

Selection, comparison, and evaluation of stimuli; prediction error signaling (mOFC, S) and the detection of contingency change; important for outcome-guided behavior: error detection, evaluation of expected outcomes, rapid recognition of unexpected outcomes, and the change of behavior that's called for ("reversal learning" S), learning by mistakes and unexpected outcomes S

Decision making, expectancies; sensory integration; access to emotional memory S; episodic memory S

* Posterior: emotion recognition; strong connections to the amygdala and anterior parts of the temporal lobe as well as to the sensory association cortex S

Interpretation S and processing of environmental emotional and motivational context information S, e.g. facial expressions S, emotion recognition and empathy S; sympathy/ preference (unknown faces) S

* Anterolateral: negative affects and obsessions S

Disorders: General impairments involving stimulus-reward reversal learning, response inhibition, and ability to judge the appropriateness of one's own behavior in the social context S; Borderline PD S, PTSD, Addiction S, S, Depression S, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S, (right hemisphere) S, S (dopaminergic hyperfunction), Anxiety Disorders S, Chronic Schizophrenia S, S, (Heterosexual) Pedophilia (hypoactivity) S, S

- back to top -

~~ Medial PFC

MPFC, Cortex medialis,
BA 10, 32
Medialer PFC

Functions: Appraisal of affective stimuli (even if they are complex and ambiguous) S relating to people (instead of objects); strong connections to the amygdala

Social cognition and reward, social valence S and classification S

"Contextualization" of stimuli; dysregulation of contextualization processes might play a key role in the generation of PTSD symptoms S

Processing of positive (not negative) visual stimuli S

Consolidation of declarative memory (in connection with Hc) S

* Polar part: behavioral aspects of communicative speech production, presumably in understanding of the context of the social interaction (esp. with familiar actors) S

Moral judgments (right/ wrong) S, Theory of Mind ToM S, S

Disorders: Reality distortion, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective disorders S, Dissociation (left hemisphere) S, Anxiety Disorders S, PTSD S, Cocaine Addiction S, Anorexia Nervosa S, Autism S
~~~ Dorsomedial FC

Anatomical terms of location

Anatomical terms of location

DMFC, Cortex dorsomedialis,
BA 8, 9
Dorsomedialer FC Functions: Social cognition: the ability to adopt the other person's perspective when making judgments (posterior), self-referential processing (anterior) S

Left hemisphere: decoupling of one's own from other people's perspectives on the self S

Intense social interaction processes (e.g. aggression) S

Mentalizing about dissimilar others S
~~~ Ventromedial PFC, Subgenual Cortex VMPFC, Cortex ventromedialis,
um BA 11 (10-13, 25, 32)
Ventromedialer PFC, Subgenualer PFC Functions: Decision making under risk S, fear; fear extinction S

Appraisal of the emotional and motivational values of environmental information S; Affective evaluation (complex display of multiple human faces, (ambiguous) reward related information) S, S, mood-incongruent recall of autobiographical memories S

* Anterior: visualization of emotional events in the far future (q.v.: caudate nucleus), and assignment of emotional values to mental representations of future events that pertain to long-term goals S

Social cognition S (Reasoning about the minds and motivation of other people, compassion to the suffering opponent S, empathy/ friendship S, self-referential thinking while mentalizing about similar others S, S, self-relatedness S

Motor inhibition S

Disorders: Borderline PD S, Depression S, S, S, PTSD S; Psychopathology S, Anxiety Disorders S

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~~~~ Para-anterior Cingulate Cortex

pACC Para-anteriores Cingulum Functions: Evaluation and/ or representation of reward value S

Valence of all stimuli, whether persons or objects S

Disorders: Bipolar Disorder S
~~ Lateral PFC

LPFC, Cortex lateralis,
BA 9, 10
Lateraler PFC Functions: Stimulus-independent cognitive processing S

Context-dependent coding of stimuli, representation of contextual information (contexts: task, motivation, reward); integration of the cognitive and the motivational context for adaptive goal-directed behavior S

Action monitoring S, Response inhibition S

Anticipatory preparation and online adjustment in response to conflicts S

Working memory S; categorization S; temporal coordination of several tasks S

Disorder: Pedophilia (hypoactivity) S
~~~ Dorsolateral PFC DLPFC, Cortex dorsolateralis,
BA 9, 46
Dorsolateraler PFC Functions: Conflict monitoring, cognitive control

Response inhibition S, S

Spatial working memory; procedural memory S, decision making S, contribution to long-term memory (only for associations) (due to active processing of relationships during encoding) S

Strong connections to the ACC

Disorders: Schizophrenia S, S, Schizoaffective disorder, Depression S, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S, Craving (Nicotine) S, Anorexia Nervosa (right hemisphere) S, (Heterosexual) Pedophilia S, S
~~~ Ventrolateral PFC VLPFC, Cortex ventrolateralis,
BA 45 (47, 12)
Ventrolateraler PFC Functions: Response inhibition S, Emotion control (due to regulation of amygdala response) S

Social cognition S, cognitive control of memory (left hemisphere) S, contingency detection S, evaluation and integration of socio-emotional information S, contribution to long-term memory formation S, retrieval of object information from the working memory S, episodic memory formation S, activation during mood-incongruent recall of autobiographical information S, affect labeling may diminish emotional reactivity along a pathway from RVLPFC to MPFC to the amygdala S

Rule representation for action selection S, resolution of proactive interference (left hemisphere) S

Disorders: Bipolar Disorder S; Autism and Paranoid Schizophrenia (left hemisphere) S

- back to top -

~ Motor cortex

-- Motorkortex Function: Movement

Disorders: Movement disorders with "plus" and "minus" symptoms, Stuttering S
~~ Primary motor area M1, BA 4 Primär-motorische Rinde Functions: Mainly motor execution processes (control, coordination) S
~~ Secondary motor area BA 6 Sekundärer Motorkortex Functions: Mainly motor preparation and initiation processes (specific movements) S
~~~ Pre-motor area,
Premotor cortex
PMA, BA 6 Prämotorisches Areal bzw. Prämotorischer Kortex Functions: Planning and creation of motion sequences and coordination with both the cerebellum and the basal ganglia using visuospatial S as well as sensory information that define parameters such as the appropriate scope of the movement

Movement plannning and execution as well as observation of the same movement/ action in others (via mirror neurons) S

Learning by imitation S

Response inhibition (Pre-SMA) S
~~~~ Broca's Area,
Broca's Region

Broca und Wernicke
BA 44, (45)

Brocasche Sprachregion,
Motorisches Sprachzentrum
Function: Speech (processing, production, and comprehension)

Disorder: Broca's Aphasia
~~~~ Frontal Eye Fields FEF, BA 4-8 Frontales Augenfeld Functions: Eye movements, corresponding with IPS and SEF (Supplementary EF)

Disorders: Eye deviation disorders (Déviation conjuguée, Prévost's sign)
~~~ Supplementary Motor Area SMA, BA 6 Supplementär-motorische Rinde Functions: Motor learning (sequential) S e.g. by observation S, planning, peraparation and initiation (and in part execution) of complex sequential movements S; suppression of movements S

- back to top - lobe

TL, Lobus temporalis,
BA 15, 20-22, 27, 28, 34-38, 41, 42, 48, 52
Temporallappen, Schläfenlappen

Functions: Hearing, speech S, processing of visual information, memory, learning, Theory of Mind ToM S

* Left hemisphere: Speech functions like comprehension, naming, verbal memory u.a.

Ventral stream: Processing of complex visual stimuli like faces (Fusiform gyrus S) and scenes (Parahippocampal gyrus)

* Anteroventral: Object recognition

* Medial (MTL): declarative/ episodic/ explicit memory/ learning (Hippocampi) - Information transfer from the working memory to the long-term memory, control of spatial memory; configural learning (perirhinal, entorhinal) S, recognition memory (perirhinal: assessment of familiarity; Hippoc.: episodic detail) S

* Inferior: Working memory - temporal storage, comparison with the subsequent perceptions; Addiction (Dopamine) S

* General: Amnesia; Epilepsy (TLE), Huntington's Disease S, Autism S
* Medial (MTL, esp. Hippocampus): Impaired autobiographical recollection (only from the recent past) S, Alzheimer's Disease S, Autism S;
* Entorhinal: Schizophrenia S, S
* Superior: PTSD, Dissociative disorders S, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S
~ Auditory cortex

Auditorisches System
A1, BA 41, 42 Primärer auditorischer Kortex Function: Hearing; Processing of auditory information
~ Wernicke's Area BA 22, (40, 42) Wernicke Sprachzentrum Functions: Speech comprehension

Disorder: Wernicke's Aphasia
~ Neocortical associative fields -- Neokortikale assoziative Areale Functions: Part of the Association cortex: Recognition of complex non-spatial auditory and visual stimuli (body parts, faces, food...) by means of interconnection of different sensory modalities to one unified impression; hallucinations

- back to top -

~ Limbic System

Limbisches System
Lobus limbicus Limbisches System

Functions: Emotion recognition, processing, regulation and transfer; drive and arousal; memory; important part of the reward system; autonomic nervous system regulation; processing of sensory stimuli (pain, odors etc.)

Only the following parts of the Limbic System are located in the Medial TL: Hippocampus, Dentate gyrus, Parahippocampal gyrus and Amygdala.

Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Pituitary gland, Fornix and Mammillary body are integral parts of the Diencephalon.

Both the Olfactory bulb and the Cingulate gyrus also belong to the Limbic System.
~~ Hippocampus

Hc, Hippocampus,
BA 27, 28, 34-36

Hippocampus Functions: Encoding, retention and retrieval of spatial and episodic experiences S; memory S, above all episodic and autobiographic S, but not procedural, and only in part semantic (controversial, S, S, S); learning, recognition S

Encoding and retrieval of relational information in visual short-term memory S

Spatial (CA3 subregion, S) and contextual learning and memory S, continuous encoding of ongoing experience, categorization S, pattern separation and pattern completion S

Behavioral regulation and inhibition (e.g. of food intake for body weight regulation) S

Speech comprehension through mnemonic encoding of narrative information S

Disorders: Amnesia, PTSD S and other stress-related disorders S; Alzheimer's Disease S, Depression S, S, Anxiety Disorders S, Bipolar Disorder S, S, Dissociative disorders S, Obesity S, Tourette Syndrome S, Cushing's syndrome S, Multiple Sclerosis S; Huntington's Disease (posterior) S
~~~ Dentate Gyrus DG, Gyrus dentatus Gyrus dentatus

Functions: Memory formation; regulation of stress responses S, neurogenesis even in adults S

Geometry of the environment S, spatial pattern separation during learning S

Disorders: PTSD S, stress-related disorders (above all due to the suppression of neurogenesis by exposure to high levels of corticosterone S), Depression S, S, S (cognitive aspects S), Déjà vu, Epilepsy S, Alzheimer's Disease S, S
~~ Amygdala

Limbisches System, posterior
Amg, Amygdala


Functions: Emotion, danger, disgust S, fear S (conditioning) S; Operant conditioning S (closely connected to the pOFC S)

Processing of emotional and social information S, Emotion recognition in others, emotional assessment of (amongst others negative S) facial expressions (are they threatening or not?) S, empathy S

Modulation of memory-related processes (both enhancement and suppression of impulses) in other brain regions, such as the Hippocampus S, S; recognition of negative items S

Important part of the reward system S

Impact on the Autonomic Nervous System, homeostasis (OFC -> Amygdala, S)

Motivation S

Disorders: Depression S, S, Borderline PD S (hyperactivity), PTSD S, Epilepsy S, Schizophrenia S, S, Autism and Paranoid Schizophrenia (right hemisphere) S, Autism (left hemisphere) S, Dissociative disorders S, Tourette Syndrome S, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S, Bipolar Disorder S, Cocaine Addiction S, Alcohol Addiction S, S (serotonergic system), Anxiety Disorders S

- back to top - Cingulate gyrus/cortex

CgG, Gyrus cinguli,
BA 23, 24, 26, 29-33

Functions: See ACC and PCC: Detection of errors, risk and conflict management, response inhibition, cognitive control, adaptation, Theory of Mind ToM (amongst others);

Important part of the Limbic System

Grief S; Pain, disgust (cognitive recognition - even by just observing scenes - and processing) S
~ Anterior Cingulate Cortex ACC, BA 24, 32, 33 Anteriores Cingulum Functions: Reaction to committed errors S, 'Error detection', Error prediction (error likelihood and magnitude of the consequences) S

Risk prediction, cognitive control, emotion regulation S, conflict monitoring, adjustments in behavior S, above all conflict detection between simultaneously active, competing representations S, minimization of distractions S

Conflict -> acts as teaching signal for avoidance learning -> will bias behavioral decision making toward cognitively efficient tasks and strategies S

Task and response conflict and anticipation S; the conflict signal detected by the ACC is transmitted to other brain regions, such as the DLPFC, to increase the level of cognitive control S

Information transfer: to the auditory association cortices, brain stem vocalization, and autonomic structures, in pathways that may mediate emotional communication and autonomic activation in emotional arousal S

Problem solving, concentration upon a task

Response inhibition S, self-regulation, emotion regulation S

Fear (rACC, gating the efficiency of amygdala-dependent auditory fear conditioning learning) S, S; pain S, S

Dwelling on one's own thoughts and notions (inner life), motivation

Important part of the reward system: anticipation of rewards, (reinforcement-related) decision making S, e.g. regarding how much effort to invest for rewards S, action evaluation, decision making regarding reward and punishment S, learning through consequences, avoidance learning S, behavioral adaptation after delivered punishments S

Craving (Nicotine) S

Empathy (with pain) S

Theory of Mind ToM (bilateral) S

Autonomic functions: modulation of blood pressure and heart rate amongst others

* Dorsal=cognitive S,
cognitive processing of stimuli, behavioral control S, attention, working memory, error detection, conflict monitoring S, response selection, anticipation of incoming information S, increasing attention to relevant stimuli S

* Ventral=affective S,
attention on the internal emotional and motivational status, regulation of autonomic responses S

* Anterior=executive

* Posterior=evaluative

* Rostral: projection of positive future events, optimism S, detecting response conflict caused by irrelevant stimuli S

Disorders: Borderline PD S, S, PTSD S, S (rostral), Schizophrenia S, S, S, ADHD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S, S, S, S, Autism S, Depression (BA 25, S, S, S, S), Anorexia Nervosa S, Bipolar Disorder S, S, Addiction (Cocaine, rostral) S, Addiction (Nicotine, Dopamine) S
~ Posterior Cingulate Cortex PCC, BA 23, 31 Posteriores Cingulum Functions: (Episodic S) memory (caudal) S, Speech comprehension and production (due to declarative memory functions during communication) S (strong interactions with medial temporal cortex) S

Theory of Mind ToM S

Pain (rostral) S

Disgust (cognitive recognition - even during mere observation of scenes - and processing) S

Recognition of both personally familiar objects and places S, dPCC: Orientation in space, vPCC: Processing of information and objects that are relevant for the self; introspection S

Disorders: Early Alzheimer's Disease (retrosplenial/ posterior) S, Anxiety Disorders S, Alexithymia S, Schizophrenia S (verbal memory) S, Anorexia Nervosa S, Addiction (Cocaine) S; Autism S

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1.1.2.Basal ganglia,
Basal nuclei

Ganglia basales,
Nuclei basales

Functions: Motor skills; motion selection, initiation and control: information transfer from the (P)FC and the parietal cortex via the basal ganglia and the thalamus up to the SMA (part of the motor cortex); above all inhibition of unwanted/ inappropriate movements but also coordination of volitional movements, postures S

Procedural memory

Attention (dopamine) S; processing of different emotional and cognitive stimuli (reward system, reinforcement, Addiction, habits) S (see below)

Modulation of pain perception S

Disorders: Cerebral palsy, Dystonia; Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Disease S; Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S; ADHD S, S, Tourette Syndrome S, Stuttering, Wilson's disease; Schizophrenia S; Depression S; Sexual disorders S, Neurodegeneration associated with brain iron accumulation S Claustrum Striatum Claustrum


Cl, Claustrum

Claustrum Functions: Consciousness; joining of different attributes into one object (sensory synchronization); synchronization of different perceptual, cognitive and motor modalities S; claustrocortical network for sensory integration S

Processing of visual sexual stimuli Striatum Str, Corpus striatum Streifenkörper

Functions: 'Entrance' to the basal ganglia; strong interconnections to the neocortex; attention -> many dopamine receptors S

Working memory S; skill acquisition (cognitive, perceptive, motor) S

Executive: Interplay of motivation, emotion, cognition and motion on a neuronal level

Activation by rewards S (dopamine, ventral) S and by aversive, novel, unexpected or very intense stimuli

Sexual arousal and behavior S

* Ventral: Preparation, initiation and execution of reward-related behavior as a result of successful integration of (relevant) emotional and cognitive information (strong connections to the OFC and the ACC) S even when rewards were cued but omitted S

* Dorsal: Reward system, adjustments after delivered rewards S, categorization S

Disorders: Striatofrontal dysfunction: Depression S, S, Chronic Schizophrenia S, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S (serotonergic hypofunction), Borderline PD S, Pedophilia S, ADHD S, Tremor S, Parkinson's Disease (Dopamine), Huntington's Disease (GABA) S, S; Athetosis, Dyskinesia; Addiction (Dopamine) S, S; Anorexia Nervosa S

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~ Caudate Nucleus

Caudate nucleus

Cd, Nucleus caudatus Caudatus Functions: Movement control S, Motor memory (Dopamine) S

Language control (left: changes in the language or the meaning of words) S; Speech processing (e.g. ambivalence) S

Perceptual skill learning S; Reaction to positive and negative feedback during learning S, left hemisphere: detection of a change in the 'context' and the subsequent formulation of a new 'rule' S; the linking of action to outcome S

Obsessions, compulsions S

Memory S, working memory S; Visualization of emotional events in the near future; concrete simulations of action plans to achieve rewarding situations in the near future S

Love S, motherly love S

Pain S

Disorders: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S, S; Major Depression (left hemisphere) S, Parkinson's Disease (Serotonin) S, Huntington's Disease S, S; Schizophrenia S; Autism S; Addiction (Cocaine) S
~ Lentiform nucleus,
Lenticular nucleus
SLn, Nucleus lentiformis Linsenförmiger Kern Disorder: Parkinson's Disease S
~~ Globus pallidus

Globus pallidus

GP, Globus pallidus Pallidum Functions: Motion facilitation (lateral segment) and motion inhibition (medial segment); acts as an "antagonist" of the Striatum; sends inhibiting impulses to the Thalamus and the Nucleus subthalamicus

Important part of the reward system S

Sexual arousal and behavior S

Disorders: Tourette Syndrome (GABA) S, Parkinson's Disease (GPI) S, Huntington's Disease S, Anhedonia/ Depression S; Dyskinesia S, Dystonia S, Tremor, Acampsia, Bradykinesia; Addiction (Cocaine; ventral) S, loss of craving S; Pedophilia S, Progressive supranuclear palsy S
~~ Nucleus accumbens NAC, Nucleus accumbens Nucleus accumbens Functions: Important part of the reward system, emotional learning, operant conditioning, motivation S, self-reference S; sympathy/ preference (unknown faces) S; empathy/ friendship S; craving S

Disorders: Addiction S, Depression S, S; Bipolar Disorder S
~~ Putamen


Pu, Putamen Schalenkörper Functions: Reinforcement learning; efficiency S

Motor memory (Dopamine) S

Speech processing (e.g. ambivalence) S

Disorders: Huntington's Disease S, Parkinson's Disease (Serotonin) S, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S; Addiction (Cocaine) S
1.1.3. Olfactory bulb MOB, Bulbus olfactorius Riechkolben Function: Smell

Disorder: Dysosmia

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1.2. Diencephalon


DiE, Diencephalon


Functions: Control of the visceral functions and the autonomic nervous system; immune system modulation; "switch point" for information transfers between different brain regions; motor function amongst others

1.2.1. Thalamus
1.2.2. Epithalamus ( Epiphysis)
1.2.3. Subthalamus
1.2.4. Metathalamus
1.2.5. Hypothalamus
( Hypophysis; Mammillary body)
1.2.6. Fornix
1.2.1. Thalamus

Th, Thalamus


Functions: Part of the reward system: motor adjustment following delivered reward/ punishment S

Attention (Dopamine) S; Speech processing (e.g. ambivalence) S, working memory S

Facial emotion identification S

'Pessimistic' bias: internal adaptation and preparation processes in order to act according to potential or certain unpleasant events (medial) S

Sexual arousal and behavior S

Craving (Nicotine) S

Modulation of pain perception S

Disorders: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S, S, S, S; Parkinson's Disease S, Tourette Syndrome S, Huntington's Disease S; Schizophrenia S, S, S, S; Insomnia S; Multiple Sclerosis S; Autism S; Pedophilia S, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (dorsomedial nucleus) S Anterior Thalamic Nuclei

anteroventral (AV), anteromedial (AM), anterodorsal (AD)
ATN, Nuclei anterioris

Nucleus ventralis anterolateralis,
Nucleus anteromedialis,
Nucleus dorsalis anterolateralis

Anteriore Thalamuskerne

Ventraler anterolateraler,
Dorsaler anterolateraler Thalamuskern

Functions: Influence on the activity in areas of the cortex responsible for memory processes S

Disorders: Epilepsy S, Amnesia S, S, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome S; Schizophrenia S; Anterior Thalamic Infarction: Palipsychism, Nominal aphasia, Apathy, anterograde Amnesia S
1.2.2. Epithalamus Eth, Epithalamus Epithalamus Functions: "Relay station" for information flows between the various regions of the olfactory system, as well as from the brain stem and the pineal gland S

Circadian rhythms (pineal gland); smell (Habenula); pupil dilation in response to light (pretectal area); vision (Commissura posterior) Pineal Gland,
Pineal Body

Pi, Epiphysis cerebri, Glandula pinealis, Corpus pineale Epiphyse,
Functions: Melatonin production (Sleep-wake cycle and other time-dependent, seasonal rhythms)

Other melatonin functions: possibly memory formation, long-term potentiation, synaptic plasticity (amongst other functions) within the hippocampus; consciousness, stress S; menopause S; aging S; immune system S; protection of the upper portion of the gastrointestinal tract S; possibly antioxidant S, antidepressive, anxiolytic and nootropic effect S; Influence on the insulin secretion S

Disorders: Disturbances of the circadian rhythm; premature sexual maturation; Enhancement or inhibition of sexual development; Cysts -> headaches S, papillary tumor of the pineal region S

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1.2.3. Subthalamus Sth, Subthalamus Subthalamus Functions: Gross motor skill control

Subthalamic nucleus: Nerve cell body for the control of various muscle activities

Efferences: Striatum, dorsal part of the Thalamus, Red Nucleus and Substantia nigra (Mesencephalon);

Afferences: Substantia nigra, Striatum

Disorders: Parkinson's Disease S, Hemiballism S, (Choreo-)Ballism S Subthalamic nucleus STN, Nucleus subthalamicus Subthalamischer Kern Functions: Motor functions

Control, "pace maker of the basal ganglia" (with globus pallidus) -> action selection

Disorders: Parkinson's Disease S, S, S, Hemiballism S, Tourette Syndrome S; increased impulsivity when faced with decision conflicts S, Progressive supranuclear palsy S
1.2.4. Metathalamus Mth, Metathalamus Metathalamus Functions:

* CGL, lateral geniculate nucleus: Vision S, S; reflectory head and eye movements, pupillary reflex, sleep-wake cycle

* CGM, medial geniculate nucleus: Hearing, pain signal transmission S

Disorders: Vision disorders S; Dyslexia (visual attention shift) S; Parkinson's Disease S

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1.2.5. Hypothalamus

Hth, Hypothalamus Hypothalamus

Functions: Important control center for the autonomic nervous system; connects the nervous system with the endocrine system via the pituitary gland

Strong connections to the pituitary gland, to the autonomic nerve centers in the brain stem and the limbic system

ANS: Maintenance of homeostasis - neuronal, hormonal and immune-regulatory:
* Diuresis (the increased production of urine by the kidney)
* Blood pressure
* Hormonal regulation
* Osmolarity
* Body temperature
* Heart rate
* Circulatory system, gastrointestinal tract, bladder
* Fluid balance
* Pupil expansion and so on S, S

Functions of nuclei
(some of the nuclei are sexually dimorphic)

Regulation of elementary behavioral patterns:
* Food intake (thirst and hunger)
* Exploration
* Eroticization and sexual behavior
* Rage S, anger
* Motherly behavior, Milk ejection reflex

Double centers for regulation of (among others):
* Hunger - Satiety
* Lust - Aversion
* Alertness - Sleep; circadian rhythms
* Approach - Flight
* Parasympathetic center/ sympathetic center... S

Stress response (part of the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis)) with Corticotropin-releasing hormones (CRH) and Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) S

Affective behavior and memory functions S, S

Disorders: stress- and trauma-related (PTSD...) S, S, Alcohol Addiction (serotonergic system) S, Pedophilia (hypoactivity) S, Depression S; Fever; Obesity S, Migraine S Pituitary Gland, Hypophysis

Pituitary glands
Glandula pituitaria Hypophyse, Hirnanhangsdrüse

Functions: Hormone production; Regulation of the neuroendocrine system

Disorders: Endocrine diseases: Hypopituitarism S, Cushing's Syndrome S, Acromegaly, Regulation disorders, abnormal growth, Infertility, Diabetes insipidus centralis; Vision disorders (due to pituitary tumors) S ... Mammillary body

Mammillary body
MMB, Corpus mamillare Mamillarkörper Functions: (Episodic S) memory; above all recognition memory (together with the anterior and dorsomedial thalamic nuclei) S; spatial memory/ learning S

Sleep S

Disorders: Amnesia S, Alcoholism S (Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome S), Autism, Alzheimer's Disease S, Obstructive sleep apnea S, Anxiety Disorders S, Epilepsy S
~ Anterior pituitary, Adenohypophysis AHP, Adenohypophyse Hypophysenvorderlappen Functions: Hormone production:
* TSH (Thyroid gland)
* ACTH (-> Glucocorticoids)
* FSH (Ovum, Sperm)
* LH (Sex hormones)
* STH (Metabolism, growth, cell differentiation)
* Prolactin (Lactation)
* MSH (Melanocytes) S

Disorders: Sheehan's Syndrome S; Cushing's Syndrome; Addison's disease (ACTH -> Cortisol)
~ Posterior pituitary, Neurohypophysis NHP, Neurohypophyse Hypophysenhinterlappen Functions: Hormone production:
* Oxytocin (Labor contractions, lactation)
* Vasopressin (ADH, AVP) (Fluid balance regulation by the kidneys; Blood pressure regulation; male aggression)

Stress, Depression (HPA axis, see Hypothalamus) S

Disorders: Diabetes insipidus S; Prostate disorders (Oxytocin) S
1.2.6. Fornix Fx, Fornix Fornix Functions: Coordination (Contralateral connection of hemispheres)

Working memory, learning (transfer of items from the short-term to the long-term memory) S

Hippocampus function selection and modulation through dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and acetylcholine

* Course (anterior fibers):
-> Hippocampus (memory, learning)
-> Hypothalamus (homeostasis)
-> Mammillary body (recognition)
-> Thalamus (relay station)
-> Cingulate cortex (cognitive control)

* (posterior fibers):
-> Septal nuclei (reward, reinforcement)
-> Nucleus accumbens (reward, conditioning, motivation)

Disorders: Amnesia, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome S; Schizophrenia S, S, S (controversial S), Alzheimer's Disease S, Parkinson's Disease S

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2. Midbrain




Functions: Transfer of sensory stimuli (e.g. visual, auditory) to other brain regions

Motor control, motivation, drive, habituation (Dopamine) S

Optics, eye muscle movements
2.1. Periaqueductal gray PAG, Substantia grisea centralis Periaquäduktales Grau Functions: Descending pain suppression (Opioid receptors) S, S, S, Empathy with Pain S

Defense, fear S, S, Flight reflex, rage S

Blood pressure regulation S

Motherly love S, Reproductive behavior S

Vocalization S

Disorders: Panic disorder S, Depression (5-HTT) S, Pedophilia S, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome S
2.2. Tectum

Tec, Tectum mesencephali Mittelhirndach Functions: Conduction of optic and auditory impulses; eye movement control; rapid processing and integration of sensory impulses and emotions

(Sources: see SC and IC)

2.2.1. Superior colliculus SC, Colliculi superiores Obere (vordere) zwei Hügel Functions: Blindsight S, S, conduction of visual impulse (e.g. to the Amygdala S, S), search functions S, eye and head movement control (optic reflexes, saccadic movements) S, S, S, Interhemispheric processing of sensorimotor information S

Multisensory S, S, audiovisual integration S (synchronous signals S, speech S); joining of different sensory information in order to improve (spatial) orientation/ localization S, S

Movement sequences S

Disorders: Eye movement disorders; ADHD S, Autism S, Huntington's Disease S, Alzheimer's Disease S
2.2.2. Inferior colliculus IC, Colliculi inferiores Untere zwei Hügel Functions: Transfer and processing of auditory impulses S, S, sound source lateralization S

Disorders: Hearing impairment S, Tinnitus S, S

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2.3. Cerebral Peduncle CP, Pedunculi cerebri Pedunculi cerebri Functions: Motor functions, movement (e.g. of legs S): Motor information transfer S to other brain and body regions: Motor centers -> Cerebral peduncles -> Thalamic nuclei

Disorders: Locked-In Syndrome S, Hemiparesis S, Tumors S, Multiple System Atrophy S
2.3.1. Midbrain Tegmentum

MTg, Tegmentum mesencephali Mittelhirnhaube Functions: Important part of the extrapyramidal motor system, motor function control, posture, movement adjustment

Awareness and attention S

Autonomic nervous functions S
~ Red Nucleus Nucleus ruber Nucleus ruber Functions: Motor coordination (above all shoulder and upper arm but also forearm and hand), arm movements during walking, crawling (baby); movement initiation S

Muscle tone, body posture

Circadian rhythm S

'Pessimistic' bias: internal adaptation and preparation processes in order to act according to potential or certain unpleasant events S

Neuronal loop: Motor cortex -> Red nucleus -> Spinal cord

"Feedback loop" Cerebellum -> Red nucleus -> Olivary body -> Cerebellum (rubro-olivary tract) for precise movement control

Afferences: Cortex, sensorimotor cortex, PFC S; Cerebellum (Dentate nucleus -> voluntary motor function, Emboliform nucleus -> postural motor system), Superior colliculi, Globus pallidus, Thalamus, Vestibular nuclei among others

* Rubro-olivary tract:
Olivary body, (-> Spinal cord, Cerebellum);
* Rubroreticular tract:
Reticular Formation (Rhombencephalon);
* Rubrothalamic tract: Thalamus
* Rubrospinal tract: Spinal cord among others

Disorders: Intention tremor, Reduction of muscle tone, Huntington's Disease S, (Choreo-)Ballism S, Stuttering S
~ Cerebral crus

Crus cerebri
Ccr, Crus cerebri,
Pl. Crura cerebri
Großhirnschenkel Functions: Part of the pyramidal system: Fine motor skills, movement control of muscle groups, motor abilities (esp. pyramidal tract)

Vision, audition, eye movements

Internal capsule:
* Temporopontine tract (Temporal lobe -> Pontine nuclei)
* Corticospinal tract (Pyramidal tract: Cortex -> Internal capsule -> Medulla oblongata -> Spinal cord)
* Corticobulbar tract (Cortex -> Cranial nerve motor nuclei for the face)
* Frontopontine tract (Frontal lobes -> Pontine nuclei)
* Parts of the auditory and visual pathway, eye movements (Oculomotor nerve, IIIrd cranial nerve)
* Thalamic peduncles (Thalamus -> Frontal lobes, Occipital lobes, Temporal lobes, Postcentral gyrus)
* Fibers to the subcortical centers (Red nucleus, Reticular formation, Vestibular nuclei)

Disorder: (Contralateral) hemiparesis
~ Black substance, Soemering SN, Substantia nigra,
Locus niger
Soemmerring-Ganglion Functions: Part of the extrapyramidal motor system - motor control:

* Afferences from the Motor cortex, Premotor cortex, Caudate nucleus and Putamen

* Efferences to the Striatum, Thalamus

Different neurotransmitters, esp. high dopamine level; Dopamine: Movement planning and initiation ('starter function'), motivation, drive etc. S, S

Part of the reward system (Dopamine) S

Disorders: Synucleinopathies: Parkinson's Disease (Dopamine S, S, Iron S, Glutathione S), Lewy Body Dementia (nigrostratal) S, Multiple system atrophy (MSA-P), Pure autonomic failure S, Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation S; Huntington's Disease S, Stuttering S, Cocaine abuse (in the uterus) S, Alcoholism (MCP-1) S, Alzheimer's Disease (iron) S, PSP: Progressive supranuclear palsy S, (Choreo-)Ballism S, Tourette Syndrome S

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3. Hindbrain



Function: Connects the brain to the spinal cord

Disorder: Rhombencephalosynapsis


Met, Metencephalon


= Pons + Cerebellum


* Partly fourth ventricle; Disorder: Hydrocephalus

* Trigeminus nerve (Nervus trigeminus, fifth cranial nerve): Eyes, upper and lower jaw, face, chewing; Disorders: Trigeminal neuralgia, Sensitivity losses, Difficulty chewing or swallowing, Herpes zoster ophthalmicus, Absent corneal reflex

* Abducens nerve (Nervus abducens, sixth cranial nerve): Lateral rectus muscle of the eye; Disorders: Abducens Nerve Paresis -> Esotropia (inward squint)

* Facial nerve (Nervus facialis, seventh cranial nerve): Facial expression, taste, hearing, head glands (tears, nose, palate, lower jaw, tongue amongst others)

* Partly vestibulocochlear nerve, eighth cranial nerve): Hearing, equilibrium (balance)

Disorders: Hearing impairment, Vertigo, Tinnitus, impaired balance, Headache, Difficulty walking, Ataxia, Nystagmus...

Cb, Cerebellum Kleinhirn Functions:

1) Neocerebellum/ Cerebrocerebellum:
* Integration of sensory perception, control and coordination of (complex) muscle movements S
* Movement planning, Timing S, S
* Evaluation of sensory information for action execution
* Eyelid movement S, Vestibulo-ocular reflex
* Afferences from the Cortex (esp. Parietal lobes)
* Efferences: ventrolateral Thalamus -> Premotor-, Motor cortex, Red nucleus

2) Archicerebellum/ Vestibulocerebellum: Balance, Eye movements S

3) Paleocerebellum/ Spinocerebellum:
* Muscle tone, body and limb movements S
* Proprioception (from the spinal cord, nervus trigeminus, visual and auditory centers);
* Awareness and anticipation of the position of body parts in space
* Visuospatial skills: Proprioceptive feedback of the position in space; spatial orientation, temporospatial models and predictions (posterior) S, Transformation of sensory space-time coordinates into motor coordinates (Tensor Network Theory) S, S

Cognition: Foundation for the development of cognitive and affective skills, for instance:
* Attention,
* Learning and
* Memory (above all complex motor skills) S, S, S
* Procedural learning and memory S
* Speech processing
* Processing of music and other temporary sensory stimuli

4) White matter nuclei:
* Dentate nucleus
* Fastigial nucleus
* Interposed nucleus (Emboliform nucleus + Globose nucleus)

Dentate nucleus:
* Planning, initiation and control of deliberate movements
* Afferences: Premotor cortex, Supplementary motor area
* Efferences: Upper parts of the cerebral peduncle (Superior cerebellar peduncles -> Red nucleus -> Thalamus)

5) Nerve cell types:
* GABAergic (inhibitory): Stellate, basket, purkinje and golgi cells
* Glutamatergic (excitory): Granular cells

Disorders: Movement and coordination Disorders: Loss of fine motor control, Lack of balance, Postural deformities, Ataxia, Multiple Sclerosis S; Autism S (Aquaporin 4 S), Asperger's Syndrome S; Disturbance of memory S; ADHD S; Huntington's Disease S; Alcoholism S (Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome); Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder S; Olivopontocerebellar atrophy, Strokes S, Epilepsy S, Pancreatic beta cell agenesis S, Nystagmus S

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Pons Pons Functions: Passage way for all nerve fibers travelling (crossing) from the left to the right and vice versa

Transfer of sensory information between the Cerebellum and the Cerebrum

Arousal control

Breathing regulation

Dreaming S

Cranial nerve nuclei:
* Pontine nuclei: Relay station for the connections between Telencephalon and the Cerebellum
* Motor nuclei of trigeminal nerve: Mastication (chewing)
* Abducens nuclei: Lateral eye movement
* Facial nuclei: Facial expression
* Cochlear nuclei: Hearing
* Vestibular nuclei: Thalamus, Cerebellum, Eye muscle nuclei, Spinal cord

Disorders: Central pontine myelinolysis S with Dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing) and Dysarthria (motor speech disorder characterised by poor articulation), Balance disorders, Locked-in Syndrome S, Ataxia S, Nicotine dependence (Tegmentum pontis) S, PTSD S, Panic disorders S, Periventricular leukomalacia S, Internuclear ophthalmoplegia
~ Reticular formation

Retikuläres Aktivierungssystem
MRF, Formatio reticularis Retikuläre Formation Functions: Neural network in the brain stem: Mesencephalon, Pons, Medulla Oblongata; Nerve signals to the Cortex

Regulation of the Autonomic Nerve System: Breathing rate, heart rate, gastrointestinal functions

Sleep-wake-cycle S, Arousal, attention, tiredness, consciousness, motivation

Pain modulation

Motor functions (walking, eating...)

Sexual activities

Disorders: PTSD (Hypervigilance) S, Hypovigilance
~~ Locus caeruleus LC, Locus Caeruleus, Locus Coeruleus (old), Locus ceruleus (Amercian English) Locus Caeruleus Functions: High Norepinephrine: Arousal, neuronal activation: Noradrenergic (excitatory) reactions to pain, emotions and so on

Emotion processing (Cingulate cortex, Amygdala)

Homeostasis (Hypothalamus)

Physiological fear and stress reactions:
Norepinephrine release
-> Cognitive functions (PFC)
-> Motivation (Nucleus accumbens);
-> Activation of the HPA axis
(Norepinephrine -> Hypothalamus CRF -> ACTH -> Cortisol synthesis);
-> Inhibition of the parasympathetic and activation of the sympathetic nervous system (Brain stem)

REM sleep

Afferences: Hypothalamus, Cingulate cortex, Amygdala, Cortex (esp. MPFC), Cerebellum amongst others

Efferences: Reticular Formation, Spinal cord, Brain stem, Cerebellum, Hypothalamus, Thalamic nuclei, Amygdala, Basal telencephalon, Cortex amongst others

Disorders: Alzheimer's Disease S, Bipolar Disorder (Norepinephrine, Serotonin) S, Depression, Fear and panic disorders; PTSD and other stress related disorders S

3.2. Myelencephalon

MO, Myelencephalon, Medulla oblongata

Nachhirn, verlängertes Rückenmark


* Fourth ventricle

* Glossopharyngeal nerve, ninth cranial nerve: Tongue, pharynx, swallowing, parotid gland

* Vagus nerve, tenth cranial nerve: Parasympathetic nervous system, viscera

* Accessory nerve, eleventh cranial nerve: Trapezius muscle, sternocleidomastoid muscle

* Hypoglossus nerve, twelfth cranial nerve): Tongue movement

* Vestibulocochlear nerve, eighth cranial nerve: transmits sound and equilibrium information from the inner ear to the brain

Disorders: Sudden infant death syndrome (Serotonin) S, Wallenberg's syndrome S

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Brain stem

Truncus cerebri


Disorders: Anxiety/ Panic Disorders S, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease S
~ Mesencephalon,
~ Pons,
~ Medulla oblongata

Brain stem
as above wie oben Functions: quod vide
~~ Olive, Olivary Body Olive Olive Functions:

* Inferior olivary complex/ nucleus):
- Part of the olivo-cerebellar system
- Motor functions, learning (movement coordination, transfer of movement errors to the Cerebellum)
- Afferences: Red nucleus, Motor cortex

* Superior olivary nucleus
- Part of the Pons
- Part of the auditory pathway: Sound source localization

Disorders: Ataxia (coordination disorders) S; Auditory Perception Disorders (directional hearing); Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in infants (Sudden infant death syndrome) due to prenatal smoking S, Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome S
~~ Pyramid Pyramis Pyramis Functions: Pyramidal (corticospinal) tract: Motor functions: Control of the fine voluntary (and in part involuntary) movement of the limbs; control of (voluntary) body posture adjustments

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