Gray Matter

Definition: Gray matter is the brain tissue which contains the neuronal cell bodies and synapses. The largest part is in the cerebral cortex, but the basal ganglia and thalamus are also gray matter structures which are embedded in the white matter. The cerebrum, brainstem and cerebellum, and throughout the spinal cord have gray matter. It is distributed at the surface of the cerebral hemispheres (cerebral cortex) and of the cerebellum (cerebellar cortex). It is distinguished from white matter, which mostly consists of (myelinated) axons, and derives its whitish color from the color of myelin.

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Related terms: white matter  

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