Brain Stem

The brain stem houses the midbrain (mesencephalon), pons (part of the metencephalon), and medulla oblongata (myelencephalon). This is the posterior area of the brain that attaches to the spinal cord. It's here, at the brain stem, where information is sent back and forth between the cerebrum or cerebellum and the body. Cranial nerves 3-12 are located here as well as significant processing centers.

This is a very important part of the brain, even though it's small. Any nerve fibers that...

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    Full Brain Stem Description

    [Continued from above] . . . are sent to the rest of the body from the brain must move through the brain stem. The motor and sensory systems that work along these nerves connections include the corticospinal tract (which includes motor skills), the posterior column-medial lemniscus pathway (this includes proprioception, vibration sensation and fine touch), and the spinothalamic tract (this is crude touch, pain, itch, and temperature).

    The functions that the brain stem is responsible for include breathing, sleep patterns, hunger and thirst, blood pressure, heart rhythms, and body temperature. In addition, it helps to regulate the central nervous system. The cranial nerves that are located at the brain stem send the main motor and sensory feeling to the face and neck.