The Brainstem

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Blood supply of the spinal cord | Main Anatomy Index | The reticular formation

Last updated 30 March 2006

The Brainstem

  1. Conduit functions;
  2. Cranial nerve functions;
  3. And integrative functions.
  1. The head's equivalent of spinal nerve fibres;
  2. And those fibres involved in the special senses of olfaction, sight, hearing, equilibrium, and taste.
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Internal Structure of the Brainstem

  1. The area posterior to the ventricular space;
  2. The area anterior to the ventricular space;
  3. And large structures "appended" to the anterior surface of the brainstem.


Posterior to the Ventricular Space


Anterior to the Ventricular Space


Structures Appended to the Anterior Surface

  1. The spinal cord;
  2. Certain cranial nerve nuclei;
  3. Or the pontine nuclei, which in turn project to the cerebellum.
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The Medulla

Gross Anatomy of the Medulla


Grooves of the Medulla


The Floor of the Fourth Ventricle

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Internal Structure of the Caudal Medulla


The Gracile and Cuneate Nuclei


The Lateral Cuneate Nucleus

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Internal Structure of the Rostral Medulla


The Inferior Olivary Nucleus


Structures around the Medial Lemniscus

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The Pons

Gross Anatomy of the Pons


The Entry and Exit of Cranial Nerves around the Pons

  1. The abducens nerve (CN VI) is the smallest and most medially located of these three, exiting where the pyramid emerges from the basal pons;
  2. The facial nerve (CN VII) is farther lateral and consists of two parts: a larger and more medial motor root and a smaller sensory root (sometimes referred to as the intermediate nerve);
  3. The vestibulocochlear nerve (CN VIII) is slightly lateral to the facial nerve and also has two parts: a vestibular division and a more lateral cochlear division.


The Superior Cerebellar Peduncle

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Internal Structure of the Caudal Pons


The Fibres of the Basal Pons

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Internal Structure of the Rostral Pons


The Locus Ceruleus

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The Midbrain

Gross Anatomy of the Midbrain

  1. The paired superior and inferior colliculi on its posterior surface;
  2. And the large cerebral peduncles on its anterior surface.
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Internal Structure of the Caudal Midbrain

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Internal Structure of the Rostral Midbrain


The Substantia Nigra


The Cerebral Peduncle

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Blood Supply of the Brainstem


Blood Supply of the Medulla


Blood Supply of the Pons


Blood Supply of the Midbrain

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Michael Tam (c) 1998