is the anatomy of the nervous system
. In vertebrate animals
, the routes
that the myriad nerves take from the brain
to the rest of the body (or "periphery") and the internal structure of the brain in particular are both extremely elaborate. As a result, the study of neuroanatomy has developed into a discipline in itself, although it also represents a specialization within neuroscience
. The delineation of distinct structures and regions of the brain has figured centrally in investigating how it works. For example, much of what neuroscientists have learned comes from observing how damage or "lesions" to specific brain areas affects behavior
or other neural functions.
Neuroanatomists work mainly by dissecting, "imaging" (such as MRI, CT and PET), performing in vivo staining and histology.
Cellular neuroanatomy is the anatomy of neurons and glia, including the branching of dendrites and the detailed structure of synapses. It is studied with the techniques of histology and microscopy, often in concert with genetic engineering, which maybe used to "tag" specific proteins.