Brain - cross section - image description

This illustration shows a side view of a head and the position of the skull, brain and spinal cord in it. The brain fills the top half of the head. Towards the back of the head it also fills the area down to the top of the neck. A thin layer of bone is shown closely covering the outside and undersides of the brain. There is a gap in the bone under the brain. A thick long shape is shown extending from the centre of the brain, through the gap in the bone, and down the neck. The top area of this shape inside the brain is called the brain stem. The lower area that extends down the neck is the spinal cord.

The top largest section of the brain is called the cerebrum. This fills most of the brain area inside the head. Behind the brain stem and under the cerebrum at the back of the brain is a small rounded shape called the cerebrum. At the top of the brain stem and under the cerebrum are two very small areas called the pituitary gland and the pineal gland. The pituitary gland sits in front of the brain stem. The pineal gland is behind the brain stem. 

A close up of the illustration shows layers of tissue between the bone and the brain. These are called the meninges. The three layers of the meninges are the dura mater (outer layer closest to the bone), the arachnoid (middle layer) and the pia mater (inner layer closest to the surface of the brain). A space is shown between the arachnoid and pia mater. This is called the subarachnoid space.