Brain development

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 15 Sep 2021

Brain development occurs from the three vesicles of the embryo's neural tube.

By approximately 4.5 to 5 menstrual weeks, the primitive neural plate has developed. The neural plate then divides into the neural crest and the neural tube. The neural tube differentiates into the primitive brain and the spinal cord.

At about 7 to 8 gestational weeks, the primary vesicles of the brain are formed and can be recognized with endovaginal sonography.

The forebrain further separates into the telencephalon (cerebrum) and diencephalon (thalamus and related structures).

The midbrain links the diencephalon and telencephalon to the rest of the brainstem.

The hindbrain further divides into the metencephalon (pons and cerebellum) and myelencephalon (from which is derived the medulla oblongata).

See also

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: brain embryogenesis
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  • Figure 2
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  • Figure 3: carotid artery development (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 4: dural venous development (Gray's illustrations)
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