Definition of Thalamus

1. Noun. Large egg-shaped structures of grey matter that form the dorsal subdivision of the diencephalon.

Generic synonyms: Neural Structure
Terms within: Geniculate Body, Subthalamus
Group relationships: Betweenbrain, Diencephalon, Interbrain, Thalmencephalon

Definition of Thalamus

1. n. A mass of nervous matter on either side of the third ventricle of the brain; -- called also optic thalamus.

Definition of Thalamus

1. Noun. (anatomy) Either of two large, ovoid structures of grey matter within the forebrain that relay sensory impulses to the cerebral cortex. ¹

2. Noun. (botany) The receptacle of a flower; a torus. ¹

3. Noun. A thallus. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Thalamus

1. a part of the brain [n -MI] : THALAMIC [adj]

Medical Definition of Thalamus

1. Either of two large, ovoid masses, consisting chiefly of grey substance, situated one on each side of and forming part of the lateral wall of the third ventricle. It is divided into two major parts: dorsal and ventral, each of which contains many nuclei. Origin: L., Gr. Thalamos = inner chamber This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology (11 Mar 2008)

Thalamus Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Thalamus

thalamic syndrome
thalamic tenia
thalamocortical fibres
thalamostriate vein
thalamostriate veins
thalamus (current term)

Literary usage of Thalamus

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Anatomy of the Nervous System from the Standpoint of Development and by Stephen Walter Ranson (1920)
"ing the thalamus and caudate nucleus from its medial surface. It is then seen to bear the imprint of both of these nuclei, and especially of the thalamus; ..."

2. Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical by Henry Gray, Thomas Pickering Pick (1897)
"Structure of the Optic thalamus.—The optic thalamus is chiefly formed of gray matter, covered over by a superficial layer of white, which on the outer side ..."

3. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease by American Neurological Association, Philadelphia Neurological Society, Chicago Neurological Society, New York Neurological Association, Boston Society of Psychiatry and Neurology (1885)
"THE OPTIC thalamus.—Vitt. Marchi has made an elaborate report of his ... He finds that the majority of the cells of the thalamus measure from 40-60 // ..."

4. Monographic Medicine by William Robie Patten Emerson, Guido Guerrini, William Brown, Wendell Christopher Phillips, John Whitridge Williams, John Appleton Swett, Hans Günther, Mario Mariotti, Hugh Grant Rowell (1916)
"The thalamus The thalamus, on the other hand, possesses several functions that we recognize. In the first place, it is a way-station in the great ..."

5. Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology: Including Many of the Principal by James Mark Baldwin (1901)
"A cell cluster on the lateral aspect of the thalamus connected with the optic ... A paired masa of cells in the dorsal part of the thalamus (epithalamus) ..."

6. The Functions of the Brain by David Ferrier (1886)
"In addition to the nuclei of the optic thalamus the correlated medullary fibres of the corona radiata, and also the tracts leading to the ..."

7. Manual of Human and Comparative Histology by Salomon Stricker, Henry Power (1872)
"thalamus, and reach the posterior commissure; but this course, ... The posterior and external layer of the optic thalamus presents a superficial resemblance ..."

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