By Lennart Heimer; et al
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Extra info for Anatomy of neuropsychiatry : the new anatomy of the basal forebrain and its implications for neuropsychiatric illness
Not only ventral striatopallidum, but also septum, amygdala, preoptic region, hypothalamus, and some cortical regions in the limbic lobe (Chapter 4)—practically all major forebrain regions—are involved in emotional, motivational, and motor activating functions because all have more or less direct relationships with motor effector structures in the brainstem. This situation gave rise to the idea of an “emotional motor system” (Holstege, 1992), which was touched on in Chapters 1 and 2 and will be discussed further in Chapter 5.
For a scientist like Brodal, who was universally admired for his ability to illuminate the anatomy of the brain with precision and apt functional and clinical correlations, this must have seemed so very paradoxical. In short, the limbic system is a concept in perpetual search for a definition. Thus, there is little wonder why ambiguity seems to be among its most enduring qualities. During the last 10 to 15 years, however, a few scientists have seriously addressed the shortcomings of the limbic system as a theoretical framework for emotional functions (Swanson, 1987; Kötter and Meyer, 1992; Isaacson, 1992; LeDoux, 1996; Blessing, 1997; Damasio, 1998).
Extended Amygdala The discovery of the extended amygdala (de Olmos and Ingram, 1972) and its elaboration as a functional-anatomical entity (Alheid and Heimer, 1988) is another subject of profound importance for understanding the organization of the forebrain. On the basis of a special silver staining technique, de Olmos and Ingram (1972) identified a prominent neuroanatomically and connectionally distinct continuum that includes the centromedial nucleus of the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and also occupies a substantial stretch of basal forebrain territory extending between these two structures and thus interconnecting them.