Function of the medulla

What is the function of the medulla?

The medulla (bulb) is the direct rostral extension of the spinal cord. It contains the nuclei of the lower cranial nerves (mainly IX, X, XI, and XII) and the inferior olivary nucleus.

The dorsal column pathways decussate in its central region to form the medial lemniscus, whereas the corticospinal tracts cross on the ventral side as they descend caudally.

Together with the pons, the medulla also participates in vital autonomic functions such as digestion, respiration, and regulation of heart rate and blood pressure


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