The brain stem controls a number of basic bodily processes that are necessary for life. According to Brain-Guide.org, the brain stem functions as an autopilot for the human body, as it regulates such activities as breathing, digestion, heart rate, blood pressure and arousal. Additionally, the brain stem, which is located at the junction of the spinal cord, serves as a conduit through which information and instructions pass.Continue Reading
Brain-Guide.org explains that three primary components form the brain stem. The medulla oblongata controls a number of reflex actions. These include coughing, swallowing and vomiting. Additionally, the medulla oblongata serves as a relay system, and it plays a large part in carrying nerve impulses to and from the brain. Finally, the medulla oblongata controls cardiac, breathing and motor functions.
The body’s visual and auditory reflex centers are situated in the part of the brain stem called the midbrain. Brain-Guide.org says that the pons, the third and final portion of the brain stem, contains the respiratory center, which controls the body's breathing reflex. The pons also serves as another relay center, carrying impulses to and from the brain. The pons carries messages between the medulla oblongata and the advanced portions of the brain, called the higher cortical structures.Learn more about Organs
Involuntary activities are controlled by the autonomous nervous system, whose main component is a part of the brain stem called the medulla oblongata. This system, as a subset of the peripheral nervous system, functions outside the brain and spinal cord and is composed of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.Full Answer >
The Sylvian fissure in the brain refers to a groove located near the base and along the sides of the brain that separates the higher frontal and parietal lobes from the lower temporal lobe. Interchangeable terms for the Sylvian fissure include the lateral fissure and lateral sulcus.Full Answer >
The brain is the control center of the body, even for processes about which the individual has no awareness. A baby's head is large in relation to the rest of its body because the brain at birth is almost the same size as in adulthood, but the brain both grows and shrinks throughout life. Brain size is only one of several factors contributing to a person's intelligence, however. Male and female brains differ in brain structure, proportion and organization.Full Answer >
White matter connects the various gray matter centers of the brain together to form communication networks, according to the DANA Foundation. White matter is primarily made up of myelinated nerve cell projections called axons, which facilitate these networks and make up the bulk of the brain and spinal cord.Full Answer >