1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Medulla Oblongata


medulla oblongata

This brain image shows the location of the medulla oblongata.

Credit: Alan Hoffring/National Cancer Institute

Medulla Oblongata:

The medulla oblongata is a portion of the hindbrain that controls autonomic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart and blood vessel function, swallowing and sneezing. Motor and sensory neurons from the midbrain and forebrain travel through the medulla. As a part of the brainstem, the medulla oblongata helps in the transferring of messages between various parts of the brain and the spinal cord.


The medulla oblongata is involved in several functions of the body including:
  • Control of Autonomic Functions
  • Relay of Nerve Signals Between the Brain and Spinal Cord
  • Coordination of Body Movements


Directionally, the medulla oblongata is inferior to the pons and anterior to the cerebellum.


More Information:

For additional information on the medulla oblongata, see:

Divisions of the Brain:

  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Biology
  4. Human Anatomy & Biology
  5. Anatomy
  6. Brain
  7. Medulla Oblongata

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.