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11.3: The Brain Stem

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    The midbrain and hindbrain (composed of the pons and the medulla) are collectively referred to as the brain stem (Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)). The structure emerges from the ventral surface of the forebrain as a tapering cone that connects the brain to the spinal cord. Attached to the brain stem, but considered a separate region of the adult brain, is the cerebellum. The midbrain coordinates sensory representations of the visual, auditory, and somatosensory perceptual spaces. The pons is the main connection with the cerebellum. The pons and the medulla regulate several crucial functions, including the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and rates.

    This figure shows the location of the midbrain, pons and the medulla in the brain.
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Brian Stem (CC-BY-4.0, OpenStax, Human Anatomy)

     


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