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Corpus Callosum

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Definition of Corpus Callosum

The corpus callosum meaning says that it is a commissural primary area of our brain, a thick bundle of nerve fibres, all connected to our right and left cerebral hemispheres. The corpus callosum connects the two hemispheres of our brain, helping them communicate with each other and send signals among themselves and the other regions of our body. Composed of almost 200 million nerve fibres, the callosum helps in heterotopic or homotopic projections within neurons within anatomical layers. During the first few years of our birth, the brain corpus callosum expands with the growth of numerous axons, their diameters, and myelin. 


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Now let us study the different aspects of this bundle of nerve fibres. 


Corpus Callosum Location

The corpus callosum location is in the white matter region of our brain’s cerebrum. It is 10cm long along the midline and is only found in placental mammals. The corpus callosum location relates it to the lateral and fornix ventricles and, along with the fornix, forms a physical barrier to separate both the lateral ventricles. 


Corpus Callosum Anatomy 

The corpus callosum anatomy is divided into four regions from the front to the rear end. These parts are the splenium, body, genu, and rostrum. All these regions are responsible for being connected to different specific parts of our brain cortex. 

Corpus callosum MRI has shown scientists that its structure is a little complicated. In this part of the brain, there is a small narrow area between the splenium and the body in the rear end known as the isthmus. The genu fibres crisscross to form the forceps minor that connects the different regions of the frontal brain cortices. 

Again, the splenium fibres move to the rear side, forming the forceps major, connecting it with the occipital lobes. These splenium fibres make up the corona radiata and other important white matter paths while moving through the cerebral cortex of our brain. Lastly, the rostral fibres connect the orbital region in our frontal lobe. 


Corpus Callosum Function 

The corpus callosum function primarily combines and transports information from our cerebral hemispheres to help produce high-level cognitive signals like motor and sensory signals. Scientists are still trying to learn more about this brain region to better understand its functions. Some of its other roles are given below.


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  • Being a topographical organisation, our callosum helps transport somatosensory signals to the posterior regions of our brain.

  • Scientists also believe that the frontal callosal fibres help in transporting motor information to and fro between our frontal lobes. The rear callosal fibres may also be involved in the connection of the occipital, temporal, and parietal lobe with the help of the various corpus callosum parts like the splenium, the isthmus, and the midbody regions. 

  • The brain corpus callosum also helps in refining our motor skills and other cognitive functions as our brain and white matter develop with age. 

  • Some studies also show that the corpus callosum helps prevent uncoordinated hand-motor functions and even protects us from the alien-hand syndrome. 


Fun Facts 

  • One of the major diseases related to the dysfunctioning of the corpus callosum is Hypoplasia or hypoplastic corpus callosum. In this condition, the hypoplastic corpus callosum exhibits a foreshortened splenium.

  • Corpus callosum meaning in Latin translates to “tough body”.  

  • Konstantin Mikhailovich Bykov first discovered the corpus callosum parts.

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FAQs on Corpus Callosum

1. How does the blood supply work in the corpus callosum?

The corpus callosum definition says that it is a primary region of our brain having a rich and healthy blood supply saving it from infarcts. The callosum mostly receives its supply from the pericallosal artery’s callosal branches which border the callosum’s outer perimeter along with the cingulate sulcus or the callosal sulcus and the subcallosal area. It also receives blood from the anterior communicating artery from either the subcallosal artery or the median callosal. The Genu and rostrum corpus callosum parts and the hypothalamus areas receive the supply from the subcallosal artery. The subcallosal artery and the median callosal artery are similar to each other but the median callosal artery travels further into the corpus callosum body to provide blood supply.

2. What are some of the physiologic problems that can arise in the brain corpus callosum?

Physiologic problems of the brain corpus callosum can lead to a type of abnormality known as hypoplasia or agenesis. This refers to an abnormal brain malformation that leads to the absence of the callosum, either partially or totally. While it is generally considered a rare disease, it can occur in 3-7 individuals in every 1000 births. While the cause of such abnormality is unknown, it is considered to be non-genetic and sporadic. Agenesis leads to malformations in certain callosum parts, but on the whole, is not considered to be fatal and is often benign. Since corpus callosum function includes cognitive behaviour, patients suffering from this abnormality will face certain issues like socializing and problem-solving difficulties. The corpus callosum connects the two hemispheres of our brain so due to its absence one might also face seizures.

3. Describe the corpus callosum’s structure.

The corpus callosum anatomy is divided into four regions from the front to the rear end. These parts are the splenium, body, genu, and rostrum. All these regions are responsible for being connected to different specific parts of our brain cortex. 

Corpus callosum MRI has revealed that its structure is a little complicated. In this part of the brain, there is a small narrow area between the splenium and the body in the rear end known as the isthmus. Then the genu fibres crisscross to form the forceps minor that connects the different regions of the frontal brain cortices. 

Again, the splenium fibres move to the rear side, forming the forceps major, connecting it with the occipital lobes. These fibres make up the corona radiata and other important white matter paths while moving through our brain’s cerebral cortex. Lastly, the rostral fibres connect the orbital region in our frontal lobe.