Start by building up a basic knowledge of terminology - until you know your funiculi from your fasciculi (as it were), it's hard to understand the anatomical relationships between different parts of the brain. Be aware that there are a lot of synonyms for some parts.
Next get a loose understanding of regional divisions - start with the prosencephalon (forebrain), mesencephalon (midbrain) and rhombencephalon (hindbrain). Understand their embryological development as a tube with kinks in it. Then break each section down further - prosencephalon into diencephalon and.. er.. whatever the other bit of the forebrain is.
Then go further.. diencephalon into thalamus, hypothalamus etc. Understand what each area is responsible for - occipital lobe = vision, frontal lobe = higher thought and so on.
Next you could move on to arterial (circle of Willis) and venous (ducts or something I believe) supply, function and generation of CSF, and the cranial nerves.
That should give you enough of a grounding to pursue higher learning objectives, perhaps with Crossman's "Neuroanatomy" textbook or similar.
I hope that was of some help, and most of it was from memory so I wouldn't be surprised if I've made a couple of mistakes.
I know it's not quite the same, but I studies neuropsychology in my final undergrad year, which required some understanding of neuroanatomy. I found that having examples of neurological (neuropsychological) disorders which could arise out of damage to to a certain region, say occipital lobe and visual disoders, or hind brain regions and basic functions, was a very useful way to approach it. Perhaps what you need to do involves less pathology(?), and more accurately locating structures, but it is a really good way of putting some context to the whole palava. And, as we psychologists know, context aids memory. It certainly helped with relating structure to function. In terms of location, lots of colour coded maps ranging from the preschool to the more complex as you get better at it (as Dan says) is a good approach. My memory doesn't really work very well with visual aids, so i have been known to create verbal prompts, much like "the hip bones connected to the thigh bone", except regarding the brain, of course (!). I daren't tempt an example here, as I'm sure to embarass myself with a faux pas!
thanks now atleast i know how to grab hold of this subject.
relating structure to function is a good approach.
now the thing is the books that ive got and my tuitor recommended seems so dreadfully lengthy, is there any useful site i could visit in this context?
Currently revising this for my preclinical exam tomorrow. It is hard to get your head around and maybe a good starting point would be an overview from a general anatomy text before getting into the specifics.
I used my physiology text alot for this as well as there is considerable overlap.
Seperate into midbrain, pons, medulla, basal ganglia, lobes and then limbic system at then end. Then put it together with the ascending and descending tracts.
I'm sure there are as many answers as there are students to how to study a particular topic. Search for images on google with unfamiliar terms and loads of sites come up- luckily as I have forgotton loads, and the pictures are really helpful
I definitely had to take my time with this topic area. I mean you are talking about one robust area for terms and inter-relationships. What helped me was an old, dusty library attended by few people. Some place with a high ceiling. Call me crazy but it just allowed my mind to "run" more.