Compare Brain and Body Sizes
The Neuron- Up Close and Personal
Three directional planes exist in the brain: rostral/caudal, dorsal/ventral, and medial/lateral. When sectioning (cutting) the brain, which planes are visible is determined by the type of section. In the sagittal section (which is made parallel to the midline, dorsal to ventral) the rostral/caudal and dorsal/ventral planes can be seen. In the coronal or cross section (made perpendicular to the midline, as if you're slicing a loaf of bread) the medial/lateral and dorsal/ventral planes can be seen. The image below shows the 3 different planes (axial, coronal, and sagittal) in which a brain can be sectioned:
(image thanks to www-psych.stanford.edu/~kalina/BB)
In addition, there are four possible views of the brain: lateral, medial, dorsal, and ventral. Lateral is from the side; medial is towards the midline (often from a sagittal section); dorsal is looking from above; and ventral is looking from below.
There are numerous specific parts of the brain that we could name and explore. The following is a list of structures within the four basic subdivisions of the brain:
Brain Stem: pons, medulla, spinal cord.