AskDefine | Define diencephalon

Dictionary Definition

diencephalon n : the posterior division of the forebrain; connects the cerebral hemispheres with the mesencephalon [syn: interbrain, betweenbrain, thalmencephalon]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The region of the human brain, specifically the human forebrain, that includes the thalamus, the hypothalamus, the epithalamus, the prethalamus or subthalamus, and the pretectum.

Extensive Definition

The diencephalon is the region of the brain that includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, epithalamus, prethalamus or subthalamus and pretectum. The diencephalon is located at the midline of the brain, above the mesencephalon of the brain stem. The diencephalon contains the zona limitans intrathalamica as morphological boundary and signalling centre between the prethalamus and the thalamus.


The diencephalon is the part of the forebrain that contains such important structures as the thalamus, hypothalamus and the posterior portion of the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus performs numerous vital functions, most of which relate directly or indirectly to the regulation of visceral activities by way of other brain regions and the autonomic nervous system.

External links

diencephalon in Czech: Mezimozek
diencephalon in Danish: Mellemhjerne
diencephalon in German: Zwischenhirn
diencephalon in Spanish: Diencéfalo
diencephalon in French: Diencéphale
diencephalon in Italian: Diencefalo
diencephalon in Latin: Diencephalon
diencephalon in Lithuanian: Tarpinės smegenys
diencephalon in Dutch: Diencephalon
diencephalon in Japanese: 間脳
diencephalon in Norwegian: Diencephalon
diencephalon in Polish: Międzymózgowie
diencephalon in Portuguese: Diencéfalo
diencephalon in Russian: Промежуточный мозг
diencephalon in Slovak: Medzimozog
diencephalon in Finnish: Väliaivot
diencephalon in Swedish: Diencephalon
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