Date of Award

Spring 1963

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

James Manion


The importance of the hypothalamus in the control of vital phenomena of the organism was indicated by the numerous experimental and pathological observations that were published during the late twenties and early thirties. The few morphological studies of this region in various forms have been devoted for the most part to the distribution of its nuclear masses. Having decided to do my thesis work on some portion of the very vast field taken in by the brain I decided, due to an interest developed in reading Papez*s Comparative Neurology (1929), to study the hypothalamus with special reference to fiber connections of its nuclear masses with a goal to gain familiarity, knowledge, understanding, and ability to be able to correlate and. interpret the results of experimental procedure and of path ological processes in brain experimentation. The rat was chosen because of the desirability of a relatively primitive mammal with a small brain, at once easily obtainable, and well adapted to experiment. In the following pages constant reference is made to the excellent works of E. S. Gurdjian and Wendell J, S. Kreig, which consisted of considerably detailed anatomical studies of the albino rat brain. The results of their individual studies agree closely in the main. These two men, especially Gurdjian, seem to be standard references along this line of study even today and I shall follow them closely, though some addition had been made and differences of interpretation in some areas have been added. Hy major background and understanding of this somewhat complicated study was obtained in reading Papez's work mentioned above, and this book presently is regarded by authorities in this field as a classic of comparative neurology, and was just re-published in 1961. At this point I would also like to mention that I have used several German references, and I have obtained translation of their work in the works of American or English authors. I shall include their names and works in the bibliography.