Psychology Wiki
Brain: Internal capsule
Horizontal section of right cerebral hemisphere.
The motor tract.
Latin capsula interna
Gray's subject #189 836
Part of
BrainInfo/UW hier-180
MeSH [1]

The internal capsule is an area of white matter in the brain that separates the caudate nucleus and the thalamus from the lenticular nucleus. It consists of axonal fibres that run between the cerebral cortex and the pyramids of the medulla.

The internal capsule is V-shaped when cut both coronally (on the same plane as the face) and horizontally (the same plane as the brim of a top hat).

When cut horizontally the bend in the V is called the genu, the part in front of the genu is the anterior limb, and the part behind the genu is called the posterior limb. There is also a retrolenticular and a sublenticular part to the internal capsule.

Fibers in the internal capsule

The posterior limb of the internal capsule contains corticospinal fibers and sensory fibers from the body. The genu contains corticobulbar fibers, which run between the cortex and the brainstem.

The retrolenticular part contains fibers from the optic system, coming from the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus. More posteriorly, this becomes the optic radiation.

Some fibers from the medial geniculate nucleus (which carry auditory information) also pass in the retrolenticular internal capsule, but most are in the sublenticular part.

Blood supply

Blood supply is similar to the other structures of the region. Striate arteries, which come off the middle cerebral artery, enter through the anterior perforated substance in the base of the brain.

Infarctions to the internal capsule tend to be small, punctate lesions. They can affect sensory and motor systems on the opposite side of the body, and possibly eyesight (to the contralateral visual field). Hearing should not be affected in a single capsule lesion, as this information crosses over to both sides of the brain while in the brainstem.

External links

Telencephalon (cerebrum, cerebral cortex, cerebral hemispheres) - edit

primary sulci/fissures: medial longitudinal, lateral, central, parietoöccipital, calcarine, cingulate

frontal lobe: precentral gyrus (primary motor cortex, 4), precentral sulcus, superior frontal gyrus (6, 8), middle frontal gyrus (46), inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's area, 44-pars opercularis, 45-pars triangularis), prefrontal cortex (orbitofrontal cortex, 9, 10, 11, 12, 47)

parietal lobe: postcentral sulcus, postcentral gyrus (1, 2, 3, 43), superior parietal lobule (5), inferior parietal lobule (39-angular gyrus, 40), precuneus (7), intraparietal sulcus

occipital lobe: primary visual cortex (17), cuneus, lingual gyrus, 18, 19 (18 and 19 span whole lobe)

temporal lobe: transverse temporal gyrus (41-42-primary auditory cortex), superior temporal gyrus (38, 22-Wernicke's area), middle temporal gyrus (21), inferior temporal gyrus (20), fusiform gyrus (36, 37)

limbic lobe/fornicate gyrus: cingulate cortex/cingulate gyrus, anterior cingulate (24, 32, 33), posterior cingulate (23, 31),
isthmus (26, 29, 30), parahippocampal gyrus (piriform cortex, 25, 27, 35), entorhinal cortex (28, 34)

subcortical/insular cortex: rhinencephalon, olfactory bulb, corpus callosum, lateral ventricles, septum pellucidum, ependyma, internal capsule, corona radiata, external capsule

hippocampal formation: dentate gyrus, hippocampus, subiculum

basal ganglia: striatum (caudate nucleus, putamen), lentiform nucleus (putamen, globus pallidus), claustrum, extreme capsule, amygdala, nucleus accumbens

Some categorizations are approximations, and some Brodmann areas span gyri.

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