The mammillary bodies are composed of a pair of nuclei (medial and lateral) and associated gray matter in the posterior hypothalamus, which itself is part of the diencephalon. These small, spherical structures derive their name from their breast-shaped appearance, especially as viewed on coronal section. They are located in the interpeduncular fossa of the midbrain, rostral to the posterior perforated substance, thereby forming the terminals of the anterior pillars of the fornix. Both groups of mammillary nuclei receive dense afferent projections from the hippocampal formation via the fornix. In addition to hippocampal inputs, the medial mammillary nuclei receive projections from the rostral subiculum, and the lateral mammillary nuclei receive projections from the pre-, para-, and postsubicula. As its name suggests, the mammillothalamic tract connects...
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