Hierarchical Relations

The brain is ordinarily divided into three parts: forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain. These are in turn subdivided into smaller and smaller divisions down to about 580 primary structures. In NeuroNames, the names for all of the parts are organized into a hierarchy with "brain" at the top, the three main subdivisions at the second level, and so down to the primary structures. Some primary structures are as many as 10 levels deep.

Try it! Find the location of substantia nigra in the hierarchy.

  1. Click 'Search by Name' in the green sidebar.

  2. In the search box, type substantia nigra, and click 'Submit Query'.


  4. Click .

SUBSTANTIA NIGRA appears in the center section of the screen.

  5. To see its substructures, click arrow to the right of SUBSTATIA NIGRA.

Listed below SUBSTANTIA NIGRA are its two substructures: pars compacta and pars reticulata. To see the superstructures to which the substantia nigra belongs, click the arrow pointing to the left , i.e., up the hierarchy. By repeatedly clicking the arrow pointing up the hierarchy, you will find that substantia nigra is part of the midbrain and the midbrain is part of the brain.