So, now, let's look at the other structures of the brain.
We're gonna start with the brainstem, but then, we're gonna work our way
all the way through all the different parts of the brain.
So, starting with the brainstem, there are three major structures.
You have the medulla oblongata, the pons, and the midbrain.
The medulla oblongata is continuous with the superior aspect of the spinal cord,
so, is the bottom most or most inferior portion of the brain.
In contains portions of both motor and sensory tracts.
Also on the medulla oblongata, we have nuclei for some of our cranial nerves as well.
The nuclei of the cranial nerves include that of the vestibulocochlear nerve, the hypoglossal nerve,
the glossopharyngeal nerve, the vagus nerve, and the accessory nerves.
We already have talked about these structural regions but I also wanna point out the inferior olivary nuclei.
These nuclei receive input from the cerebral cortex, the midbrain, and the spinal cord,
and send that information to the cerebellum.
This allow for adjustments to muscle activity as you start to learn a new skill.
And just to recall, a nucleus is a congregation of cell bodies found in the central nervous system.
This is synonymous with ganglia found in the peripheral nervous system.
The functional regions of the medulla oblongata includes several different centers.
We have the cardiovascular center which is going to control heart rate and vasoconstriction.
We have the respiratory center which is going to control the respiratory rate.
We have a vomiting center which is going to control vomiting.
A deglutition center which controls swallowing,
and as well, we have other functional regions that control things like coughing, sneezing, and hiccupping.
The next structure of the brain is going to be the pons. Pons translates to bridge.
The pons is located superior to the medulla oblongata and as the name suggests,
it links parts of the brain with one another by way of tracts.
The pons is made up of two major regions. You have the ventral region and the dorsal region.
The ventral region is going to contain pontine nuclei
which connect the cerebral cortex to the opposite cerebellar hemisphere,
and then, you have the dorsal which is going to contain ascending and descending tracts,
and also, several cranial nerve nuclei.
Nuclei for the cranial nerves found in the pons include nuclei for the trigeminal nerve,
the abducens nerve, the facial nerve, and the vestibular portion of the vestibulocochlear nerve.
Functionally, the pons is going to relay nerve impulses
related to voluntary skeletal muscle movements from the cerebrum to the cerebellum.
Also, it contains a pontine respiratory group which helps the medulla oblongata control breathing.