Friday, May 13, 2022

What Is The Brain Stem Made Up Of

Don't Miss

Location And Basic Physiology

Brainstem – Structure & Function – Neuroanatomy

In vertebrate anatomy, the brainstem is the most inferior portion of the brain, adjoining and structurally continuous with the brain and spinal cord. The brainstem gives rise to cranial nerves 3 through 12 and provides the main motor and sensory innervation to the face and neck via the cranial nerves. Though small, it is an extremely important part of the brain, as the nerve connections of the motor and sensory systems from the main part of the brain that communicate with the peripheral nervous system pass through the brainstem. This includes the corticospinal tract , the posterior column-medial lemniscus pathway and the spinothalamic tract . The brain stem also plays an important role in the regulation of cardiac and respiratory function. It regulates the central nervous system and is pivotal in maintaining consciousness and regulating the sleep cycle.

What Are The Main Parts Of The Brain Stem

The brain stem is made up of three parts: the midbrain, the pons and the medulla.

Life Sciences Database/Wikimedia Commons

The midbrain is located underneath the cerebral cortex, near the top of the brain stem. It connects the cerebrum to the brain stem. The midbrain helps process visual and auditory information, such as controlling the eyes and eyelids. It also plays a role in regulating our body temperature and motor movements.

Main Parts of the Midbrain

Life Sciences Database/Wikimedia Commons

Pons is the Latin word for “bridge.” The pons is responsible for connecting the brain stem to the cerebral cortex and the cerebrum to the cerebellum. It can be found right underneath the midbrain and above the medulla oblongata. Although it is the largest section of the brain stem, the pons is only about 2.5 centimeters long. The pons is responsible for assisting in motor functions, particularly for nerves in the face, ears, and eyes. It also plays a role in regulating the intensity and frequency of breathing. It has both gray and white matter, but it does share gray matter with the midbrain. The reticular formation of the pons’ gray matter plays a vital role in dreaming and REM sleep.

Life Sciences Database/Wikimedia Commons

The Cerebellar Peduncles

Function Of The Medulla Oblongata

The medulla oblongata controls autonomic functions and connects the higher levels of the brain to the spinal cord. It is also responsible for regulating several basic functions of the autonomic nervous system, including:

  • Respiration: chemoreceptors
  • Reflex centers of vomiting, coughing, sneezing, and swallowing

Also Check: What Part Of The Brain Controls Eyesight

Everything You Need To Know About Brain Stem Function

Of your brains four main regions, the brain stem function probably plays the most vital role of all. Your brain as a whole along with your bodys vital organs, all rely on a healthy brain stem function.

Located just above the spinal cord, the brain stem connects the spinal cord with the brain and consists of the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata. Along with other brain regions, the brain stem plays an integral part in many vital processes including breathing, digestion, and movement.

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

A tree and all its branches and leaves represent your brain, body and its vital organs. The tree trunk represents your brain stem. Without the tree trunk, everything else over time will shrivel away and die.

Thats how important it is!

In this article, well take a deeper look at the function of the brain stem and explain how this region of the brain helps your whole body function well.

The Autonomic Nervous System

Your Brain Structure  What is the Brain Made Of?

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.

Dont Miss: Why Do People Get Brain Freeze

You May Like: Does Mike Tyson Have Brain Damage

The 3 Functions Of The Brain Stem

To summarize, you can say that all the individual roles of the brain stem can be summed up into three main functions. These include:

  • Serving as communication between the brain and the spinal cord.
  • Controlling the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Housing cranial nerve nuclei that are instrumental to movement and sensory functions.
  • Free Masterclass: The Ultimate Framework To Transform Your Mind Body And Relationships

    Why is life so easy for some, and so difficult for others?Have you ever wondered how some people seem to float through life effortlessly, and the things they want just flow to them as if theyre blessed by magic?What if there was a framework you could follow, that could transform your mind, body and relationships and set you up for success in any area you choose?What if there was a way to reshape your deepest beliefs about yourself, enabling you to achieve daily personal breakthroughs on a subconscious, intuitive, and automatic level?Join Mindvalley founder Vishen Lakhiani in this FREE Masterclass as he dives deep into the core personal growth practices that will insert life-changing habits into your day-to-day living so you can live the life you always wanted to live.

    Recommended Reading: Is Prevagen Safe For Diabetics

    Functions Of The Brain Stem

    As already mentioned, the brainstem is an extremely important part of the central nervous system. Consequently, it has different functions. There are three main groups of brain stem roles. Those are:

  • The link between the spinal cord and higher centers in the brain
  • Houses reflex centers
  • Houses the cranial nerve nuclei .
  • Consequently, this part of our brain plays an important role in the regulation and monitoring of the following functions:

    • Breathing
    • Heart rate
    • Urination.

    Moreover, the brain stem is important because it sends information between the spinal cord and the peripheral nerves, and connects them to the brain.

    How Do I Control My Fear And Anxiety

    The brain stem is made up of

    Ten ways to fight your fears

  • Take time out. Its impossible to think clearly when youre flooded with fear or anxiety.
  • Breathe through panic. If you start to get a faster heartbeat or sweating palms, the best thing is not to fight it.
  • Face your fears.
  • Quit Looking for Stuff to Fix.
  • Dont Sweat the Small Stuff.
  • Remind Yourself That You Are Worthy.
  • No Matter What Is Bugging You, You Can Always Do Something About It.
  • Read Also: Enlarged Blood Vessel In Brain

    What Is The Corpus Callosum

    The cerebrum’s inner core houses the brain’s “white matter.” The major part of the inner core is known as the corpus callosum. The corpus callosum is a thick tract of fibrous nerves that serve as a kind of switchboard enabling the brain’s hemispheres to communicate with one another. Whereas the cerebral cortex is the cerebrum’s outer layer made up of gray matter, and is responsible for thinking, motor function and information processing the corpus callosum is the cerebrum’s inner core, made up of white matter, with four parts of nerve tracts connecting to different parts of the hemispheres.

    Home of the white matter: corpus callosum./Life Sciences Database/Wikimedia Commons

    The corpus callosum’s nerve fibers are coated with myelin. This fatty substance helps increase the transmission of information between the next part of the cerebrum: the two hemispheres.

    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.

    You May Like: Why Do People Get Brain Freeze

    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 .

    Divisions Of The Reticular Formation

    The brain is made up of three main parts: the cerebrum ...

    Traditionally, the nuclei are divided into three columns:

  • Raphe nuclei
  • Magnocellular red nucleus
  • Parvocellular reticular nucleus
  • Sagittal division reveals more morphological distinctions. The raphe nuclei form a ridge in the middle of the reticular formation, and directly to its periphery, there is a division called the medial reticular formation. The medial reticular formation is large, has long ascending and descending fibers, and is surrounded by the lateral reticular formation. The lateral reticular formation is close to the motor nuclei of the cranial nerves and mostly mediates their function. The raphe nuclei is the place of synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays an important role in mood regulation.

    The medial reticular formation and lateral reticular formation are two columns of neuronal nuclei with ill-defined boundaries that send projections through the medulla and into the mesencephalon . The nuclei can be differentiated by function, cell type, and projections of efferent or afferent nerves. The magnocellular red nucleus is involved in motor coordination, and the parvocellular nucleus regulates exhalation.

    Cross Section of the Pons: A cross section of the lower part of the pons showing the pontine reticular formation labeled as #9.

    Don’t Miss: Fluoride Classified As A Neurotoxin

    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.

    What Is The Function Of The Brain Stem

    To get a well-rounded picture of all the brain stem functions, well need to learn what parts does the brain stem connect to.

    Dont Settle For Mediocre

    Life can be hard, but your personal growth doesnt have to be. Discover the journey to self-mastery.

    The brain stem acts as a primary connection to several parts of the brain. In a way, it can be considered as a control bridge between brain parts.

    It links the cerebrum and spinal cord together, as well as the cerebrum with the cerebellum. The cerebellum is positioned right above the brainstem and beneath the occipital lobes at the back.

    Within the brainstem are nerve tracts that relay signals from the cerebellum to areas of the cerebral cortex. This allows you to have fine coordination and control of your motor movements.

    Other important brain stem functions also include:

    • Alertness
    • Digestion
    • Heart rate
    • Information bridge between the peripheral nerves and spinal cord to the upper areas of the brain

    The brain stem is not just a connection between different areas of the brain. It also acts as your bodys management control, regulating many of its autonomic functions.

    Database Center for Life Sciences/Wikimedia Commons

    Cancer Research UK/Wikimedia Commons

    Read Also: Why Do People Get Brain Freeze

    In Conclusion: Brain Anatomy

    The human brain is an incredibly complex, hardworking organ. As one-half of the human nervous system, the brain structure oversees nearly all of the body’s operations, including how we move, think, feel and understand ourselves and the world around us. And knowing all this brain anatomy is important. From the cerebrum, cerebellum and the brain stem, to all the parts in between: this three-pound organ is what makes us humans, well, human.

    Brain Stem Keeps You Breathing And More

    The brain stem is made up of | 11 | NEURAL CONTROL AND COORDINATION | BIOLOGY | ERRORLESS | Do…

    Another brain part that’s small but mighty is the brain stem. The brain stem sits beneath the cerebrum and in front of the cerebellum. It connects the rest of the brain to the spinal cord, which runs down your neck and back. The brain stem is in charge of all the functions your body needs to stay alive, like breathing air, digesting food, and circulating blood.

    Part of the brain stem’s job is to control your involuntary muscles the ones that work automatically, without you even thinking about it. There are involuntary muscles in the heart and stomach, and it’s the brain stem that tells your heart to pump more blood when you’re biking or your stomach to start digesting your lunch. The brain stem also sorts through the millions of messages that the brain and the rest of the body send back and forth. Whew! It’s a big job being the brain’s secretary!

    Recommended Reading: What Can Cause A Brain Bleed

    What Brain Regions Make Up The Brain Stem

    • Slides: 26

    What brain regions make up the brain stem? 1. The hypothalamus, the thalamus, and the pons 2. The diencephalon and the mesencephalon 3. The mesencephalon, the pons, and the medulla oblongata 4. The pons, the cerebellum and the medulla oblongata

    Which primary brain vesicle is destined to form the cerebellum, pons, and medulla oblongata? 1. 2. 3. 4. Prosencephalon Rhombencephalon Myelencephalon Metencephalon

    In what way is the cranial dura mater structurally distinct from the spinal dura mater? 1. It is formed of two layers. 2. Some portions extend into the cranial cavity as dural folds. 3. It contains dural sinuses. 4. All of these are differences from spinal dura mater.

    What are potential consequences of blockage of an interventricular foramen? 1. 2. 3. 4. Hugely expanded skulls in infants Brainstem stroke Damage to and distortion of brain in adults 1 and 3 are correct

    How would decreased diffusion across the arachnoid granulations affect the volume of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles? 1. 2. 3. 4. Volume would increase. Volume would decrease. Volume would remain the same. Volume would fluctuate erratically.

    Many water-soluble molecules that are relatively abundant in the blood occur in small amounts or not at all in the extracellular fluid in the brain. Why? 1. Blood pressure increases in brain capillaries. 2. Bloodbrain barrier restricts ion movement. 3. Neurons take up most ions. 4. Neuroglia remove ions from CSF.

    Dont Miss: Why Does Brain Freeze Occur

    Why Is The Brain Stem Important

    Many experts believe that the brain stem is the most important part of the brain. To put it simply, the brain stem acts as a connection cable allowing connected nerves to send signals from your brain to the rest of your body.

    Similarly to the tree trunk example we gave in our intro, the brain stem is basically the vital connection that keeps everything in functioning order. Without it, your brain cant communicate and send signals to the rest of the body and vice versa.

    You May Like: What Causes Slow Brain Waves

    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.

    More articles

    Popular Articles