The human brain is a complex structure made up of so many parts. Students get to know much about the human brain from the notes and the study materials that are provided to them. Well, here we are going to talk about one of the most important parts of the human brain known as the hindbrain.
The hindbrain can be considered as one of the main and major regions of the human brain. The location of the hindbrain is in the lower back portion of the human brain. There are brainstems and a very dense and coral-shaped structure present there known as the cerebellum. We are going to provide some more details about the hindbrain parts and functions right here.
What is the Hindbrain?
The human brain is made up of three major regions and the hindbrain constitutes one of them. The hindbrain also known as the rhombencephalon is situated in the lower back portion of the brain. There are some important parts such as the cerebellum and the brainstem situated in the hindbrain.
We are going to have some more discussions about the parts and the components of hindbrain right here. To be completely precise, the brainstem can be considered as a very important and essential portion of the entire central nervous system. This is because it is the part that is connected to the spinal cord and hence it helps in the coordination of many different and vital functions of the body such as heartbeat and breathing as well.
Hindbrain Parts: Know What Makes the Hindbrain
The hindbrain has three main parts that students need to know about. These parts are Pons, Medulla Oblongata, and the Cerebellum. Also, most cranial nerves from the total 12 are found right here in the hindbrain.
This is a very important part of the hindbrain and it is a Latin word that means “bridge”. This particular portion acts as a sort of connection between the cerebral cortex and the brainstem. The shape of the pons is bulbous and it is situated right underneath the entire midbrain. The portion serves as a basic coordination center that can be used for communications and signals that tend to flow between the 2 different hemispheres of the brain and the body’s spinal cord. There are 4 different cranial nerves that are found in this part of the hindbrain.
Situated right behind the rest of the brainstem and the pons is a particular structure that can be named the cerebellum. This is also a Latin word that means Little Brain. When we look at the cerebellum in cross-section, it might just look like a wrinkly, layered coral. However, just like we have seen in the cortex, there are 2 hemispheres to this structure and there is a very thick and dense layer consisting of grey matter that surrounds the entire structure. Not to mention that there is a very thick inner region composed of white matter as well. There is a presence of certain special neurons that are known as Purkinje cells. These cells have the capability to process certain signals due to the highly complex and complicated dendrite branches that they have.
The Medulla oblongata is another one of the important parts of the hindbrain and it is situated on the lowermost part of the overall hindbrain and the brainstem. The brain transitions along with the spinal cord happen in the medulla oblongata. The length of this section is just about 3 cm in total. However, this portion consists of an indispensable nerve tract that tends to control certain centers of our body, and hence it helps in the performance of several vital functions as well.
When it comes to the matter contained in the medulla, it can be said that it is composed of both grey and white matter. Not to mention that there are several of the cranial nerves (4 in total) that tend to step from the medulla oblongata.
What is the Hindbrain Function?
There are many different functions that are performed by the hindbrain. It is responsible for the controlling of the lungs as well as the heart. Not to mention that it also regulates the heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, sneezing, and swallowing.
The cerebellum helps in the coordination of different muscles that enable the voluntary movements that we make. The cranial nerves in the medulla oblongata also have many functions. The glossopharyngeal nerve is one of the nerves that tends to control the sensations of taste that we feel and also some of the movements of the mouth as well. There is the vagus nerve that has control over the voice reflexes, gag reflexes, and several of the mouth movements as well. There is also the accessory nerve that tends to provide coordination to the neck and the head. Also, there is the hypoglossal nerve for the control of the tongue and other speech-related muscles.