Saturday, August 13, 2022

What Are The Parts Of The Brain Stem

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Medulla Oblongata Regions And Functions

Brain stem

Just as with the midbrain and pons, medulla contains part of the reticular formation as well. The cardiovascular and respiratory system connect as a single system within this structure of the midbrain. Afferent cardiorespiratory signals synapse at the medulla and work to regulate respiration. The ventral respiratory columnist, which controls respiratory rhythm and its oscillating pattern, is also present at the medulla. Furthermore, the medulla acts as the vasomotor center. This is because neurons present can stimulate blood vessel diameter adjustments while monitoring baseline arterial pressure.

The nucleus of the solitary tract is found in the medulla and is organized by information type being transmitted, as well as by activated pathways in response to the information. It largely coordinates afferent information. The most important functions of the medulla occur at this nucleus, including information from baroreceptors and chemoreceptors. Blood vessel baroreceptors send information to the nucleus of the solitary tract to adjust heart rate and blood flow. Blood vessel chemoreceptors sense oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, allowing the nucleus of the solitary tract to maintain proper respiration. Additionally, taste synapses at this nucleus first, before being sent to the thalamus and cortex for sensory processing.

Principle 2 And Principle 5

Conserved structures that show major differences in overall organization and asymmetry and individual variability in the brainstem.

The principal nucleus of the inferior olive and the dentate nucleus of the cerebellum

The IOpr is a structure that is conserved across species, but has major differences in organization. Figure 4 illustrates the shape of the IO in coronal sections from four species, rat , cat , macaque monkey , and chimpanzee . In the chimpanzee, the shape of the IOpr has changed considerably it has the form of a long ribbon with many infoldings.

Figure 4. The inferior olive in the rat , cat , macaque monkey and chimpanzee . IOD, dorsal nucleus of the inferior olive IOM, medial nucleus of the inferior olive IOpr, principal nucleus of the inferior olive. All images are at the same magnification. Scale bar 1 mm.

Figure 5. The IO on CV sections of three different human cases. Case 155, female, age 50. Case 158, male, age 51. Case 176, female, age 71. Note differences among cases in the size and shape of the principal nucleus of the inferior olive, IOpr . Also compare the leftright folding pattern examples of different folding shown at the red arrows. IOD, dorsal nucleus of the inferior olive IOM, medial nucleus of the inferior olive IOpr, principal nucleus of the inferior olive. Scale bar 5 mm.

IOpr degeneration in the neurologically normal adult

Dentate nucleus

Can You Live Without A Brain Stem

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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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.

A Quick And Easy Guide: To The 4 Main Brain Regions

Pictures Of Brainstem

No organ in your body plays a more important role than the brain. Not only does it collect and store information and allow you to act on it but it also controls the function of all other organs in your body. Along with the nervous system, the human brain is by far the most complex structure in the universe.

As complex as it is, the human brain is also highly adaptable. It consists of four interconnected brain regions, each of them in charge of a different set of functions like thinking, memory, and movement.

In the words of Jim Kwik,

Your brain is like a massive supercomputer.

Jim Kwik, Author of Mindvalleys Superbrain Program

You can train it to process an incredible amount of information in a fast and efficient way. In order to do that, however, you need to know which brain sections to target.

In this article, well take a look at the four main brain regions and their key functions, by answering the following questions:

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What Is The Brain Stem

The brainstem is a cylinder-shaped part of the brain that is located between the rest of the brain and the spinal cord. That means that the brainstem is aligned with the neural fibers that run through the spinal cord under the spinal cord specifically, it passes in front of the cerebellum.

Therefore, it is the part of the brain that is in an anatomically lower position and close to the neck. Also, most of the cranial nerves exit from the brainstem.

The brainstem is composed of both parts of white matter and some areas in which gray matter predominates, which means that both connecting areas and areas in which the bodies of neurons concentrate, forming control nuclei, run through it. .

The brain stem is the tube-shaped structure of the brain that is located in the lowest position of the brain, close to the spinal cord.

In fact, it looks like an extension of it. It is the part of the brain that regulates a good part of our autonomous or partially autonomous vital functions, such as heart rate and breathing. It is a fundamental brain structure for survival and any injury to this part of the brain can be fatal.

It is a vital center of our body and is divided into several areas with specific functions. The image of the horizontal section of the brainstem resembles the image of a butterfly.

Components Of The Brainstem

The three components of the brainstem are the medulla oblongata, midbrain, and pons.

Brainstem Anatomy: Structures of the brainstem are depicted on these diagrams, including the midbrain, pons, medulla, basilar artery, and vertebral arteries.

The medulla oblongata is the lower half of the brainstem continuous with the spinal cord. Its upper part is continuous with the pons. The medulla contains the cardiac, respiratory, vomiting, and vasomotor centers regulating heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure.

The midbrain is associated with vision, hearing, motor control, sleep and wake cycles, alertness, and temperature regulation.

The pons lies between the medulla oblongata and the midbrain. It contains tracts that carry signals from the cerebrum to the medulla and to the cerebellum. It also has tracts that carry sensory signals to the thalamus.

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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 Is The Brainstem Responsible For

2-Minute Neuroscience: The Brainstem

4.6/5brain stembrain stem

Accordingly, what are the three functions of the brain stem?

There are three main functions of the brainstem:

  • The brainstem plays a role in conduction.
  • The cranial nerves III-XII emerge from the brainstem.
  • The brainstem has integrative functions being involved in cardiovascular system control, respiratory control, pain sensitivity control, alertness, awareness, and consciousness.

Also Know, what are the components of the brain stem? The brainstem is divided into three sections in humans: the midbrain , the pons , and the medulla oblongata .

Moreover, where is the brainstem located and what is its function?

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.

What happens if the brain stem is damaged?

The brainstem can become compressed due to swelling, leading to hemorrhaging and stroke. This may result in speech impairment, breathing difficulties, including sleep apnea and difficulty swallowing. In acute cases, there may be personality changes and memory loss.

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Evolution Of The Brain Stem

Since the brain stem is the lowest part of the vertebrate brain, it is considered the oldest part of the brain, evolutionarily speaking. Rudimentary versions of the brain stem appear in the evolutionary record somewhere between 600 to 420 million years ago roughly contemporaneous with the emergence of complex eukaryotic life. Regarding the current function of brain structures, the brain stem generates arousal, reward, and stress the most basic elements necessary for memory formation and immediate survival.

The evolutionary history of the brain can be gleaned by observing anatomical and functional regions the human brain shares with other species of animals. In a nutshell, by comparing neuroanatomical regions and structures, scientists can work backward to figure out when exactly certain structures of the brain emerged. For example, the hindbrain and associated regions of the midbrain, pons, and medulla are sometimes called the reptilian brain to signify neural and structural analogs present in reptilian species. Moving up the evolutionary record, we see the emergence of more complex brain structures in tandem with the evolution of mammals. By the time we reach early hominids, the mammalian cortex has already formed and we begin to see the emergence of the distinctly human pre-frontal lobe.

What Conditions And Disorders Affect Your Brainstem

A wide range of injuries or conditions can damage your brainstem. Some of these include:

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A Sorting Station: The Thalamus Mediates Sensory Data And Relays Signals To The Conscious Brain

The diencephalon is a region of the forebrain, connected to both the midbrain and the cerebrum. The thalamus forms most of the diencephalon. It consists of two symmetrical egg-shaped masses, with neurons that radiate out through the cerebral cortex. Sensory data floods into the thalamus from the brain stem, along with emotional, visceral, and other information from different areas of the brain. The thalamus relays these messages to the appropriate areas of the cerebral cortex. It determines which signals require conscious awareness, and which should be available for learning and memory.

What Is The Brain Stem And What Does It Do

Childhood Brain Stem Glioma Treatment (PDQ®)

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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Where Is The Location Of The Brain Stem

Located just above the spinal cord, the brain stem connects the spinal cord to the cerebellum part of the brain. Its connection is made up of three pairs of nerve bundles known as cerebellar peduncles.

In addition, the brain stem also serves as the connection between the cerebrum and the cerebellum, two of the four main regions of the brain.

What Is The Brainstem And What Does It Do

In addition to connecting the brain to the rest of the nervous system, the brainstem has a number of essential functions. To simplify things, I’ll discuss some of the functions associated with each of the three major regions of the brainstem. It should be noted, however, that the organization of the brainstem is very complex and this is just an overview.

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Cerebellum And Brain Stem

The cerebellum is located at the base of the skull under the cerebrum and is responsible for:

  • Coordinating voluntary movements, e.g., moving a limb with dexterity.

  • Balance and equilibrium, so that you do not fall over and lose your balance.

  • Memory and reflex motor arcs

The brain stem leads to the spinal cord and is responsible for:

  • Reflexes .

  • Sweating, blood pressure, and all types of automatic responses, not controlled voluntarily.

  • Ability to sleep.

Overall, any damage to the different parts of the brain can cause many problems. For example, water in the brain can cause a rise in pressure that affects brain function.

What Are The Parts Of The Brainstem

Brain Stem Components: Midbrain, Pons & Medulla Oblangata â Brain & Nervous System | Lecturio

Your brainstem consists of three parts:

  • Midbrain: The top part of the brainstem is crucial for regulating eye movements.
  • Pons: The middle portion of the brainstem coordinates facial movements, hearing and balance.
  • Medulla oblongata: The bottom part of the brainstem helps regulate your breathing, heart rhythms, blood pressure and swallowing.

Your brainstem also contains your reticular activating system . The RAS is a network of neurons . Your RAS controls your sleep and wake cycles. It also helps you stay alert and attentive to your surroundings.

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What Are The Four Nuclei Of The Cerebellum

As the three lobes take in information from the cerebrum, spinal cord and body, the cerebellum also has a way of sending out information. This is done through what are called nucleia bundle or neurons embedded deep in the cerebellum’s white matter.

Rounding out cerebellum’s composition are the four nuclei that pass information between the cerebrum and the body. These nuclei are: dentate, emboliform, globose, and fastcgi. They receive on the body and give information from the cerebellum through Purkinje cells and mossy fibers.

Life Sciences Database/Wikimedia Commons

The final section of the brain is a mass of tissue and nerves called the brain stem. Located underneath the cerebrum and cerebellum, the brain stem connects the brain to the spinal cord. All information that goes from the brain to the body , must pass through the brain stem to reach its destination. The brain stem accounts for the remaining 5% of the brain’s mass, and is , the oldest part of the brain. The brain stem is responsible for regulating the heart and lungs, communications between the brain and the peripheral nervous system , our sleep cycle, and coordinating reflexes.

The brain stem plugs the brain into the rest of the body through the spinal cord .

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.

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