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Brain Stem

  1. Carolyn R. Freeman

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy2001

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Freeman, C. R. 2010. Brain Stem. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Author Information

  1. McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The brain stem, which consists of the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata, connects the cerebrum above to the spinal cord below. It is a highly organized structure that, in addition to conveying ascending and descending tracts, contains the nuclei of the cranial nerves III to XII and is responsible for a number of complex functions, including control of respiratory and cardiovascular activity and regulation of the level of consciousness.