> wiki   Explore:web images videos games  


KidzSearch Safe Wikipedia for Kids.
(Redirected from Mesencephalon)
Jump to: navigation, search
Brain: Midbrain
Human brain inferior view description.JPG
Inferior view midbrain (2), above (3)
Human brainstem-thalamus posterior view description.JPG
Human brainstem midbrain (B)
thalamus (A) pons (C)
medulla oblongata (D)
Latin mesencephalon
Horizontal section through midbrain

The mesencephalon or midbrain is a part of the brain stem.[1] It is associated with vision, hearing, motor control, sleep/wake, arousal (alertness), and temperature regulation.[2]

In the anatomy of developing animals, the brain forms from the neural tube, which turns into three vesicles. The mesencephalon (midbrain) is the middle vesicle, and becomes part of the brain stem.

The mesencephalon is ancient in origin, meaning its general architecture is shared with the most ancient of vertebrates. Dopamine produced in the substantia nigra plays a role in motivation and habituation of species from humans to insects.


  1. Mosby’s Medical, nursing and allied health dictionary. 4th ed, Mosby-Year Book 1994. p981
  2. Breedlove, Watson, & Rosenzweig 2010. Biological psychology. 6th ed. 45-46