The brain is one of the most important organs in the human body, as well as being the most complex, due to its innumerable neurons connected with axons and dendrites, constituting a fascinating anatomy.

In this article, we will learn about a part of the brain anatomy known as the lenticular nucleus, its bone structure, and the functions it provides to the brain.

What is the lenticular nucleus?

The lenticular or extraventricular nucleus is an anatomical structure of the brain , it is found in the oval center which is full of white nerve fibers, also being a union of the various nuclei of the basal ganglia .

In the same way, the lenticular nucleus is the most important brain structure for the body, since it provides motor functions, that is, those that develop movement in people. This is carried out in all the segments that surround this nucleus.

Note: A medical study mentions that “The basal ganglia are subcortical nuclear masses that are mainly related to motor control and learning” . (1)

What structures make up the lenticular nucleus?

The lenticular nucleus is not a single region in the brain, but constitutes a connection of three basal ganglia nuclei. We present you what they are:

1. putamen

This is the most important portion of said nucleus, it is found in a capsule and medullary lamina externally or laterally in the globus pallidus (a nucleus of the ganglia) and it prepares or executes motor movements.

Important: According to a study “The putamen runs ventromedially towards the globus pallidus, hence the name of the striatum” . (two)

2. Internal segment

This segment is different from the putamen, as it turns out to be the globus pallidus or globus pallidus, being the medial part of the nucleus. It is made of a much whiter substance and is responsible for ordering the movements that are made unconsciously by nerve endings (which can occur in the neck, face, and even the extremities).

Note: It is known that “the globe is divided into two parts and both the external and internal globus pallidus have different afferents, efferents and functions”. (3)

3. Middle segment

The middle segment , also known as the substantia nigra , contains various neurons that help form dopamine (a chemical that controls movement) and is located at the midpoint of the brain.

It also regulates the movements and sensations of addiction . In Parkinson’s disease, neurons that produce dopamine slowly die.

Note: According to a medical study “It is a mesencephalic nucleus composed of three parts: Pars reticulata, pars compacta and pars lateralis” . (4)

What are the functions of the lenticular nucleus?

The lenticular nucleus, despite being complex, is important in the functions of the human body. We present the most important that exist:

1. It intervenes in the development of movement

The nucleus, as previously stated, is closely related to the development of motor functions, that is, the movement of the muscles and limbs or joints of the body. See the arms, the hands, the leg and even the mouth.

To highlight: Walking, eating and moving the body for blood circulation are just some of the most important movements that the lenticular nucleus develops.

2. Participates in the maintenance of body posture

Just as it also develops movement, it intervenes or regulates them, helping to maintain body posture when the body wants it, this is healthy for many people and strengthens the back muscles.

3. Intervenes in learning processes

The lenticular nucleus is also responsible for intervening in learning processes , especially those that require physical actions rather than mental ones, since this nucleus transports information to the motor cortex, through the lamina of the brain.

Note: This is vital for activities like exercises and sports mostly, or others like learning to play instruments.

4. Match stimuli with emotions

Thanks to the middle segment or substantia nigra of the nucleus, it can be related to the stimulation of emotions or physical attractions towards something, that is, they are related to addictive movements towards some product or situation of daily life.

It is also linked to stimulation towards psychophysiological reactions, whether due to surprising situations or moments of euphoria that some people present.

Key Findings

  • The lenticular nucleus is an internal structure of the brain.
  • It is attached to the main nuclei by the basal ganglia.
  • Its structure is formed by the putamen, the internal segment and the middle segment.
  • It regulates movements, emotions and helps transport information regarding the organs and motor cortices of the brain.

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