Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 2 Aug 2021

The telencephalon (plural: telencephala or telencephalons) is the most anterior region of the primitive brain.
Together with the diencephalon, the telencephalon develops from the prosencephalon, the primitive forebrain 1.

The inferior boundaries of the telencephalon are found at the diencephalon and brainstem 1. Posteriorly the telencephalon is bordered by the cerebellum 1.

The telencephalon is composed of surface grey matter (the cerebral cortex) and underlying white matter, with deep masses of grey matter 2. The corpus callosum facilitates communication between the two hemispheres 3.

The telencephalon comprises:

Related pathology

Atelencephaly is a rare disorder that results when the ​derivatives of the telencephalon are absent or dysplastic. 

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: Schematic of brain embryogenesis
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  • Figure 2: Brain development
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  • Figure 3: annotated MRI
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