MRI scan of human brain with brainstem highlighted

MRI scan of human brain with brainstem highlighted

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Credit: SCOTT CAMAZINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Brainstem. Computer-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of a healthy human brain seen in side view, with the brainstem area highlighted (blue). The brainstem (at centre) connects the spinal cord with the brain upper cerebral regions (seen folded at top). The brainstem consists of: the medulla oblongata (lower centre), an enlarged extension upwards of the spinal cord; a rounded pons (at eye-level); and above this, the midbrain connection to the higher brain regions. The brainstem is concerned mainly with control of vital body functions, such as breathing and blood pressure. These primitive functions, below the level of consciousness, are of a reflex action.

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Keywords: anatomy, brain, brain scan, brainstem, human body, medulla, midbrain, mri scan, nervous system, neuroimaging, pons

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