Components of the brain

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Blood-Brain Barrier

Tight junctions between endothelial cells of capillary walls that regulate which substances can leave the blood and enter the brain

Blood-CSF Barrier

Special ependymal cells with tight junctions located in the choroid plexuses in the brain ventricles

Medulla Oblongata

Contains cardiac, vasomotor & respiratory control centers, plus all connecting tracts between brain & spinal cord

Pons

Includes tracts that connect cerebrum to the cerebellum, medulla & spinal cord. Includes some respiratory control centers

Cerebellum

Adjusts postural muscles (maintains balance & equilibrium) plus programs & fine tunes learned movement patterns

Cerebral Peduncles

Contain descending fibers that go to the cerebellum or carry voluntary motor commands from the cerebral hemispheres

Corpora Quadrigemina

Two Superior colliculi & two inferior colliculi

Superior Colliculi

Function in tracking moving objects, and reflexes of blinking, focusing & pupillary muscle actions. Also control the reflex movements of the eyes, head & neck in response to visual stimuli.

Inferior Colliculi

Control movements of head, neck, & trunk in response to auditory stimuli, like a loud noise.

Cerebral Aqueduct

Conducts CSF from third ventricle to fourth ventricle

Thalamus

Acts as a relay station for all sensory input to the cerebral cortex (except olfactory) and also provides feedback loops between cerebral cortex basal nuclei.

Hypothalamus

Controls autonomic functions, regulates pituitary gland, produces hormones, regulates body temp, controls food & water intake, regulates sleep.

Infundibulum

Connects hypothalamus with pituitary gland.

Corpus Collosum

Is commissural tracts that connect left and right hemispheres of the cerebrum

Septum Pellucidum

Thin wall that separates the two lateral ventricles.

Basal Nuclei

Responsible for subconscious control of skeletal muscle tone, plus coordinate learned muscle movement patterns

Mammillary Bodies

Process sensory information plus control reflex movements associated with eating.

Pineal Gland

Secretes melatonin, which regulates day-night cycles & reproductive cycles.

The Five Lobes of the Cerebrum

Frontal lobe ; Parietal lobe; Occipital lobe; Temporal lobe; Insula

Association tracts

Connections within a hemisphere

Commissural tracts

Connections between hemispheres

Projection tracts

Connections with other parts of the brain or spinal cord

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