The Importance of the Brainstem: Controlling Basic Functions and Arousal

Category: Anatomy, Brain
Last Updated: 31 Mar 2023
Pages: 3 Views: 14

The Brain Brainstem The brain stem plays an important role in basic attention, arousal, and consciousness. ?It contains the medulla oblongata, cerebellum, midbrain and pons. Its functions include things that you need to survive, such as breathing, digestion, heart rate, blood pressure, and arousal which makes you awake and alert. All information from our body passes through the brain stem on the way to the brain. Medulla Oblangata The medulla oblongata connects the brain and spinal cord.

It controls a number of functions including heartbeat, balance, breathing and blood pressure, making it a very important part of the brain. Damage to the medulla oblongata can be deadly, because the person will be unable to breathe, swallow, or perform other basic motor functions without help. The medula oblongata also helps you to sleep and takes in information from your senses which allows you to hear, see, taste, and feel your face. Pons Pons is named after the Latin word for "bridge. " The main job of this structure is to pass information between the cerebellum and cerebrum.

In addition, it helps to send other messages to the brain, manage arousal feelings, and monitors respiration. Cerebellum The cerebellum is a structure attached to the bottom of the brain. This part of the brain is important because it helps maintain your posture and balance. It also regulates voluntary actions such as running, clapping, or raising your hand. The cerebllum helps your bones make smooth and precise movements rather than jerky ones. Midbrain The midbrain is found between the hindbrain and forebrain and is one of the smallest structures.

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It controls many important functions such as seeing and hearing as well as eye movement. The midbrain also processes pain, temperature, and touch. Its neurons release dopamine, which is a hormone in your brain that effects your metabolism, heart rate, and blood circulation. A disease that comes from the midbrain because of low dopamine levels is Parkinson's. Corpus Collasum This structure connects the left and right sides of the brain. The coprus collasum helos the two sides of the brain communicate and send information to each other.

If this part of the brain gets damaged, the left side of the brain and the right side of the brain will not be able to communicate. When the two sides are split, people won't be able to use all of their senses together. For example, when the patient sees an object and is told to say the name of the object, he/she can't say what they have seen. However, removing the corpus callasum brings down the intense levels of seizures and doesn't let it spread to other parts of the brain. Pituitary Gland The pituitary gland is in charge of making hormones.

Hormones are chemicals that travel through our blood stream. The pituitary is sometimes called the "master gland" because it controls hormone functions such as our temperature, thyroid activity, growth during childhood, urine production, testosterone production in males and ovulation and estrogen production in females. The pituitary gland controls all other glands and helps us respond and react to our surroundings without us knowing. Thalamus The thalamus is in the inner part of your brain. It is best known as the final station for data and the senses before it is passed on to the cerebral cortex.

All your senses, except your sense of smell, go through the thalamus first. For example, when you see something, it goes through the thalamus first before it goes to the part of the brain its supposed to signal. It is also known as a sensory switchboard. Hypothalamus The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that links your brain to the endocrine system. It controls the pituitary gland and controls the four basic needs for you to survive. These are fighting, fleeing, feeding, and mating. The hypothalamus lets you know when you are hungry or thirsty and also controls your sex drive and temperature.

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The Importance of the Brainstem: Controlling Basic Functions and Arousal. (2017, Apr 15). Retrieved from

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