Monday, May 16, 2022

What Are The 3 Parts Of The Brain Stem

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The Brainstem And Cerebellum

027 The 3 parts of the brain stem and their functions

The brainstem is located above the spinal cord and beneath the thalamus and consists of the medulla oblongata, the pons, and the midbrain. The brainstem contains well-defined clusters of nerve cell bodies or nuclei that receive sensory input from the cranial nerves and send this information upstream to the thalamus for further processing. The brainstem has an ill-defined central core called the brainstem reticular formation that houses the respiratory and cardiovascular centers that influence breathing, respiration, blood pressure, circulation, and vasomotor tone.

Medial View of the Brain

This illustration identifies the various areas of the human brain. Source: Oscar-Berman et al., 1997.

The cerebellum, or little brain, is located behind and above the brainstem and makes up about 10% of the total volume of the brain. Despite its small size, the cerebellum contains more than half of all the neurons in the brain, arranged in a highly regular and repeating pattern. The cerebellum is connected to the brainstem via three pairs of peduncles that are bundles of nerve fiber tracts entering and exiting the cerebellum. These nerve fiber tracts carry information to and from the spinal cord, cerebrum, and brainstem.

Brain Stem: Function And Parts

The brain is the single most complex machine known to humans. Millions of years of evolution have produced a complex network of neurons and synapses whose coordinated activity controls every function in the human body. Figuring out the organization and structure of the brain is the goal of neuroscience and cognitive science.

The brain has developed different anatomical regions that are specialized for certain functions. Since the brain has evolved over millions of years, it has several distinct layers of organization that reflect different levels of development through evolutionary history. For example, the cerebrum is the highest part of the brain and is the most recent evolutionary addition to the brains structure. The cerebrum controls most of the advanced cognitive functions associated with higher mammals, like reasoning, speech, and interpreting sense. The cerebellum is the second layer of the brain and controls more basic functions, like coordinating muscle movement and maintaining posture/balance.

The brain stem is the lowest and oldest region of the brain. The brain stem handles the most basic functions required for survival things like, heart rate, reflexes, breathing, digestion, and regulating sleep. There is a substantial amount of evidence that the brainstem plays an integral role in regulating consciousness and awareness.

Blood Supply To The Brain

Two sets of blood vessels supply blood and oxygen to the brain: the vertebral arteries and the carotid arteries.

The external carotid arteries extend up the sides of your neck, and are where you can feel your pulse when you touch the area with your fingertips. The internal carotid arteries branch into the skull and circulate blood to the front part of the brain.

The vertebral arteries follow the spinal column into the skull, where they join together at the brainstem and form the basilar artery, which supplies blood to the rear portions of the brain.

The circle of Willis, a loop of blood vessels near the bottom of the brain that connects major arteries, circulates blood from the front of the brain to the back and helps the arterial systems communicate with one another.

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The Biggest Part: The Cerebrum

The biggest part of the brain is the cerebrum. The cerebrum is the thinking part of the brain and it controls your voluntary muscles the ones that move when you want them to. So you need your cerebrum to dance or kick a soccer ball.

You need your cerebrum to solve math problems, figure out a video game, and draw a picture. Your memory lives in the cerebrum both short-term memory and long-term memory . The cerebrum also helps you reason, like when you figure out that you’d better do your homework now because your mom is taking you to a movie later.

The cerebrum has two halves, with one on either side of the head. Scientists think that the right half helps you think about abstract things like music, colors, and shapes. The left half is said to be more analytical, helping you with math, logic, and speech. Scientists do know for sure that the right half of the cerebrum controls the left side of your body, and the left half controls the right side.

What Are The Three Main Parts Of The Brainstem And What Do They Do

Human Brain

Answer itcerebrumcerebellumcervical spinal corddiencephaloncerebrumponsmidbrain

Accordingly, what are the main parts of the brain stem?

spinal cordmidbrain6 Major Parts of the Brain and What They Do

  • Lobes of the Brain. Frontal Lobes.
  • Motor Cortex and Somatosensory Cortex. Between the parietal and frontal lobes are two bands across the top of the brain from ear to ear.
  • Brain Stem.

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The Cerebellum’s Inner And Outer Layers

Like the cerebrum, the cerebellum has two layers: one inner and one outer. The outer layer is called the cerebellar cortex. Like the cerebral cortex, it is full of gray matter. Functions such as movement, motor learning, balance and posture happen here.

Underneath the cortex lies the cerebellum’s white matter. Called “arbor vitae” for its appearance, the cerebellum’s white matter contains cerebellar nuclei. These neurons are vital because they relay information between the cerebral cortex and the peripheral nervous system to assist in learning and cognitive functions, motor control, balance and coordination.

Disorders Involving The Brain Stem

As is often the case in neuroanatomy, one way of figuring out exactly which functions certain parts of the brain stem perform is to see what happens when those parts of the brain are damaged. Sometimes, seeing what happens when a machine malfunctions can give clues regarding its internal organization and structure.

Since the brain stem is an integral part of the brains functioning, disorders involving the brain stem are serious and most often fatal. Damage to the brain stem can compromise the most basic functions required for survival, including breathing, circulation, and internal temperature regulation. Because the brain stem handles so many functions, there are a number of different pathologies associated with brain stem injuries.

One particularly extreme and rare condition involving damage to the brain stem is locked-in syndrome. Locked-in syndrome is characterized by complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles in the body except for eye movement and blinking. Patients with locked-in-syndrome are conscious and aware of their environment but are unable to move.

Locked in syndrome is caused by damage to the lower parts of the brain stem. Damage to the brain stem can interrupt the conduction of nerve signals and prevents motor nerve signals from being sent to parts of the body. In very severe cases, patients with locked-in syndrome suffer from respiratory failure and have to be kept alive with a respirator.

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Brain Stem Structures And Functions

The brain stem contains ascending pathways and descending pathways. The ascending pathways process sensory information while the descending pathways create motor responses to the sensory information received.

As mentioned previously, the three main structures that make up the brain stem are the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata. All three of these structures are separated into three regions: the tectum, tegmentum, and basis . Generally, the tectum contains specialized functions to senses and movement. Meanwhile, the tegmentum contains the cranial nuclei, reticular formation, and pathways interconnecting the brain stem and additional structures throughout the brain. Lastly, the basis contains fibers from descending pathways from the cerebral cortex. The following sections of this article will go into detail of specific structures found in each of these three regions.

What Are The Structures Of The Brain Stem

Brainstem – Structure & Function – Neuroanatomy

The brain stem refers to the area of the brain between the thalamus and spinal cord. Structures of the brain stem include the pons, medulla oblongta, tectum, reticular formation and tegmentum. The brain stem is important for maintaining basic life functions such as breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.

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The Autonomic Nervous System

There are two major functional nervous systems in the body: the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system. The somatic nervous system is responsible for regulating and carrying out voluntary responses throughout the body. Specifically, these are the responses that the conscious is aware of . As a result, the somatic nervous system typically targets skeletal muscles.

However, voluntary movement is not the only action occurring in the body. The body also undergoes many involuntary movements, which are motions that are not conscious. Movements such as this include heartbeat- as controlled by cardiac muscle– and digestion- as controlled by smooth muscle. This category also includes glandular functions. All of these actions fall under the control of the autonomic nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system is further broken down into two sub-categories: the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. As part of the autonomic nervous system, these two sub-systems also control parts of the body for involuntary movement. The sympathetic system allows the body to prepare itself for stressful situations. This can include increased heart rate, increased glucose release into the blood, and inhibited digestion. On the contrary, the parasympathetic system allows the body to increase and store energy. This can be accomplished by slowing down heart rate and increasing digestion.

What Is The Brain Stem And What Does It Do

The brain stem is the oldest, most primitive part of the human brain. This tube-shaped region is about three inches long and made up entirely out of nervous tissue.

The brain stem forms a bridge between the brain and the spinal cord and plays the most vital role of all. Despite its small size, the brain stem is one of the most important parts of your brain and body.

Its responsible for many vital functions. Breathing, swallowing, and digestion only to name a few. Your whole body and the rest of your brain all rely on a healthy brain stem function.

To get an understanding of how important its role really is, consider this analogy

A flower and all its petals, small branches and leaves represent your brain, body and its vital organs. The main stem and roots represent your brain stem. If you cut the flower off of the main stem, it will start to shrivel away and die.

Thats how important it is!

In this article, we will take a closer look at the structure, function, and importance of the brain stem.

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Pituitary Gland Controls Growth

The pituitary gland is very small only about the size of a pea! Its job is to produce and release hormones into your body. If your clothes from last year are too small, it’s because your pituitary gland released special hormones that made you grow. This gland is a big player in puberty too. This is the time when boys’ and girls’ bodies go through major changes as they slowly become men and women, all thanks to hormones released by the pituitary gland.

This little gland also plays a role with lots of other hormones, like ones that control the amount of sugars and water in your body.

Can You Live Without A Brain Stem

The Origins of the Transgender Condition

To make a long story short: no, you cannot live without a brain stem.

While there are some brain regions that you can live without, the brain stem is not one.


The brain stem is a vital part for your brain and body to function. It controls your bodys breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. In addition, It also controls your consciousness and autonomic functions, which are absolute requirements to sustain life.

Brain Stem Injury And Treatment

Its not all bad news when it comes to treating brain stem injuries. As long as the injury is diagnosed early enough, it can be in many cases highly treatable.

Depending on the nature of the injury of course, and what areas of the body are affected, specific exercises and therapy can help strengthen the brain stems function.

We need to understand how our minds work so we can work our minds better.

Jim Kwik, Author of Mindvalleys Superbrain Program

Several studies have shown that physical activity, particularly leg exercises, can support the production of new neurons by stimulating the brain stem pathways. Working out regularly can boost your brain power, improve your memory, and protect your brain from age-related mental decline.

What do you do to boost your brain function? Let us know in the comments below!

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Ventricles And Cerebrospinal Fluid

Deep in the brain are four open areas with passageways between them. They also open into the central spinal canal and the area beneath arachnoid layer of the meninges.

The ventricles manufacture cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, a watery fluid that circulates in and around the ventricles and the spinal cord, and between the meninges. CSF surrounds and cushions the spinal cord and brain, washes out waste and impurities, and delivers nutrients.

Brainstem Motor Systems And Peripheral Signaling

Brainstem motor systems control eating behavior and food digestion. The trigeminal, facial, and hypoglossal cranial nuclei in the brainstem are responsible for the chewing and swallowing motor behaviors involved in eating. The dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus contains motoneurons that project to the gut, liver, and pancreas to control gastric motility and secretion. Neurons in the DMX are organized topographically, with descending fiber projections organized in distinct columns that control different parts of the gut. Positive feed-forward information signaling the presence of food in the mouth or stomach is relayed from the gut to cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus, and then transmitted to the brainstem. The brainstem integrates information and sends efferent signals to initiate chewing and gastric motility when appropriate.

Chronically maintained decerebrate rats, whose caudal brainstem is dissociated from the forebrain, are able to regulate meal size and show similar energetic response to food deprivation as control rats, with both groups showing reduced energy expenditure and respiratory quotient. Decerebrate and control rats also respond to insulin administration with increased intraoral intake, and both groups respond to administration of the competitive glucose analog 2-deoxy-d-glucose with sympathoadrenal hyperglycemia. Thus, the caudal brainstem is sufficient to maintain some aspects of the control of food intake and energy expenditure.

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What Are The Layers Of The Cerebrum

The cerebrum has two layers: one inner and one outer. The outer layer is known as the cerebral cortex . Most times, whenever you see photos of the brain, you are looking at the cerebral cortex. This area houses the brain’s “gray matter,” and is considered the “seat” of human consciousness. Higher brain functions such as thinking, reasoning, planning, emotion, memory, the processing of sensory information and speech all happen in the cerebral cortex. In other words, the cerebral cortex is what sets humans apart from other species.

The cerebral cortex is referred to as “gray matter,” due to its color and is responsible for several vital functions, such as those listed above.

What Are The 3 Parts Of The Brainstem

Brain stem


. Keeping this in consideration, what are the 3 parts of the brain stem?

And the first part of the brain that we enter is called the brain stem. The 3 parts of the brain stem are: the medulla, which is this section here and then we have the pons and we have the midbrain. So the medulla, pons, and the midbrain, those are the 3 parts of the brain stem.

Secondly, which structure is a part of the brainstem? The brainstem is the posterior part of the brain, continuous with the spinal cord. In the human brain the brainstem includes the midbrain, the pons and medulla oblongata of the hindbrain.

Similarly one may ask, what are the 3 parts of the brainstem and their functions?

Brainstem. The brainstem is the distal part of the brain that is made up of the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata. Each of the three components has its own unique structure and function. Together, they help to regulate breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and several other important functions.

What is the brain stem composed of?

The brainstem is the region of the brain that connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord. It consists of the midbrain, medulla oblongata, and the pons. Motor and sensory neurons travel through the brainstem allowing for the relay of signals between the brain and the spinal cord.

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What Are The Regions Of The Brain And How Do They Fit Into The Brain Structure

The three main parts of the brain are split amongst three regions developed during the embryonic period: the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. Together, these regions act as a useful map to understanding the various parts of the brain’s structure and functions.

The forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain serve as regions that make finding the various parts of the brain easier./ BruceBlaus/Wikimedia Commons

To better understand the roles of the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain within the brain, check out the short video below:

What Is The Gray Matter And White Matter

Gray and white matter are two different regions of the central nervous system. In the brain, gray matter refers to the darker, outer portion, while white matter describes the lighter, inner section underneath. In the spinal cord, this order is reversed: The white matter is on the outside, and the gray matter sits within.

Gray matter is primarily composed of neuron somas , and white matter is mostly made of axons wrapped in myelin . The different composition of neuron parts is why the two appear as separate shades on certain scans.

Each region serves a different role. Gray matter is primarily responsible for processing and interpreting information, while white matter transmits that information to other parts of the nervous system.

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Can You Recover From A Brain Stem Injury

Damage to some parts of the brain can be managed, however, brain stem injuries can be very difficult to and fatal to your overall health. It can even potentially cause permanent damage.

Thats because the brain stem connects your brain to all other parts of your body. Without a brain stem, that connection would be lost and your body cant function.

Injuries to the brain stem can affect your personality and even paralyze you. Since this is a very sensitive part of the brain, today treatment is limited and very expensive.

Its not about mental intelligence, its about mental fitness.

Jim Kwik

Brain stem treatment

Its not all bad news when it comes to treating brain stem injuries. As long as the injury is diagnosed early enough, it can be in many cases highly treatable.

Depending on the nature of the injury of course, and what areas of the body are affected, specific exercises and therapy can help strengthen the brain stems function.

Like any other muscle in your body, your brain including the brain stem grows and develops with regular exercise. This includes both actual physical exercise and brain workouts. Together, they stimulate the generation of new neurons and help keep your brain young and active.

How do you keep your brain healthy and sharp?

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