The function of the midbrain, or mesencephalon, is to control an individual's hearing, motor control, vision, arousal and temperature regulation. In addition, the midbrain also controls a person's sleep and awake cycle.
The midbrain works with assistance from the cerebellum, cerebral cortex and substantia nigra. The substantia nigra, a component in the mesencephalon, is linked with motor system pathways within the basal ganglia. The midbrain is situated near the center part of the brain underneath the cerebral cortex and above the hindbrain. In this region, the spinal cord and brain come together to form the various functions of the midbrain. The rubospinal tract, which extends from the cerebellum to the bottom motion sensors within the brain triggers voluntary movements.