The brainstem connects the cerebrum to the spinal cord (middle of the brain). The brainstem includes the midbrain, pons, and medulla.
The brainstem is the posterior stalk-like portion of the brain that connects the cerebrum to the spinal cord (or brain stem). In the human brain, the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata make up the brainstem. The tentorial notch connects the midbrain to the diencephalon’s thalamus, thus the diencephalon is sometimes classified as part of the brainstem.
The brainstem is very small, accounting for only 2.6 percent of the brain’s total weight. It is in charge of regulating cardiac and respiratory function, as well as assisting in the regulation of heart rate and breathing rate. The cranial nerves also provide the primary motor and sensory nerve supply to the face and neck. Ten pairs of cranial nerves reside in the brainstem. Among its other duties are the central nervous system and the body’s sleep cycle. It is also important in the transmission of motor and sensory pathways from the rest of the brain to the body and from the body to the rest of the brain.
These routes include the corticospinal tract (motor function), dorsal column-medial lemniscus pathway (fine touch, vibration sensation, and proprioception), and spinothalamic tract (fine touch, vibration sensation, and proprioception) (pain, temperature, itch, and crude touch).
The midbrain (or mesencephalon) is a complex structure that includes neuron clusters (nuclei and colliculi), neural pathways, and other components. These abilities aid in a range of tasks, including listening and moving, as well as calculating answers and adapting to changes in the environment. In the midbrain is also the substantia nigra, a dopamine-rich area affected by Parkinson’s disease and part of the basal ganglia, which controls movement and coordination.
The pons is home to four of the 12 cranial nerves, which control processes such as tear production, chewing, blinking, concentrating eyesight, balance, hearing, and facial expression. The pons, which is named after the Latin word for “bridge,” connects the midbrain with the medulla.
At the bottom of the brainstem, the medulla is where the brain joins the spinal cord. The medulla’s survival is critical. Heart rate, breathing, blood flow, and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels are all controlled by the medulla. The medulla is responsible for reflexive motions such as sneezing, vomiting, coughing, and swallowing.
The spinal cord passes through a big hole from the bottom of the medulla to the bottom of the skull. The vertebrae support the spinal cord, which transmits messages to and from the brain and the rest of the body.