About this Research Topic
A recent revision to the terminology of the sections titled the “Central Nervous System” (CNS) and the “Peripheral Nervous System” (PNS) within the Terminologia Anatomica and the Terminologia Histologica has been posted to the open part of the Federative International Programme for Anatomical Terminology (FIPAT) as the official FIPAT terminology for the nervous system: the Terminologia Neuroanatomica (TNA). A third chapter deals with the sensory organs.
In general, the TNA uses a more natural hierarchical and embryologically-based classification of brain structures for the prosencephalon (forebrain), following the prosomeric model. Neuron types are implemented in all of the sections. Given these novelties, involving a framework change in the prevalent neuromorphologic descriptive paradigm (that is, the current prosomeric model versus Herrick's columnar model), and their potential impact on the future communication of neuroanatomical research results, the scientific community might profit from a wider discussion of the FIPAT’s decisions. For the CNS, discussion might focus on the following items:
(1) the implementation of terms for the various types of neurons.
(2) the classification of the white matter tracts as central roots, intrinsic tracts, commissural connections and long tracts, divided into ascending and descending tracts.
(3) the modernized version of the blood vessels of the brain with clinical subdivisions, which is included in the TNA to ensure it contains a more or less complete list of terms for the human nervous system.
(4) the subdivision of the forebrain based on embryological and genoarchitectonic studies; the forebrain is subdivided into the caudal prosencephalon, giving rise to the diencephalon (pretectum, thalamus with epithalamus, and prethalamus), and a rostral prosencephalon, giving rise to the hypothalamus and the entire telencephalon.
(5) the subdivision of the telencephalon into the pallium and the subpallium (striatum, pallidum, basal forebrain and preoptic area).
(6) the use of new subdivisions for the thalamic nuclei.
(7) a new definition of midbrain boundaries and corresponding alar subdivisions; this establishes the new concept of the prepontine hindbrain, conventionally misidentified as a part of the midbrain. The subdivision of what is known as the pons into pontine and retropontine or pontomedullary hindbrain, restricting the term pons to the basilar part of the pons, represents another novel aspect.
(8) the implementation of newer subdivisions for the cerebral cortex and of modern data on long association pathways.
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