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The field of chemical neuroanatomy features its own scientific journal and a Handbook of Chemical Neuroanatomy, with more than 20 volumes published so far. As reflected in many parts of this book, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of chemical neuroanatomy in the field of neuropsychiatry, especially since the methods used are often applicable not only to experimental animal brains but also to postmortem human brains. 18 ANATOMY OF NEUROPSYCHIATRY In the 1970s, anterograde and retrograde labeling techniques replaced the silver staining as the methods of choice in experimental tract-tracing.

4 in Chapter 4). Therefore, the septal nuclei in the human are often referred to as the precommissural septum. But this is only part of the problem with the septum, another difficulty being that investigators over the years have tended to lump it, or the so-called “septal area,” with a number of other structures. MacLean (1990), for instance, included the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (Figs. 1B and C) in his concept of septum (p. 288). The confusion surrounding this structure becomes even more understandable when one considers the writings of Heath (1954), who, in his studies of psychiatric patients, described a “septal region” close to the midline and extending from the rostral tip of the anterior horn of the lateral ventricle to the level of the anterior commissure (roughly 2 cm in the rostrocaudal dimension).

Nonetheless, it has been universally presumed that this is what the limbic system does, and during most of the 20th century, the fame and influence of the limbic system have continued unabated both in basic and clinical neuroscience, despite the problems created by its perpetual expansion and mobile boundaries. , 1996), was found to be present in many presumably nonlimbic parts of the nervous system. Ironically, to the extent that the continuing expansion of the limbic system has been fueled by neuroanatomical advances, experimental neuroanatomy may well hold the seeds of its demise.

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