• Very bottom of the brain and at the top of the spinal cord
  • Controls life-sustaining functions like breathing and swallowing
  • Left-right nerves begin crossover here


  • Above the medulla, bridges upper and lower parts of the brain
  • Influences sleep, dreaming, arousal and left-right coordination

Reticular Formation

  • Runs through the medulla and the pons
  • Controls level of attention and arousal


  • At the base and back of the brain
  • Coordinates fine, rapid motor movement, learned reflexes, posture and muscle tone;
  • May also have some cognitive and emotional functions
Materials by theme: