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Other Terms: Metepencephalon, Bulb, Myelencephalon, Bulbus, Myélencéphale
The medulla oblongata is where the spinal cord connects to the brain stem. It is the bottom portion of the brain stem. It extends from the lower border of the pons, from which it is separated by a transverse groove, to the lower border of the foramen magnum. The bottom portion of the medulla oblongata is similar to the spinal cord. The medulla oblongata separates the hemispheres of the cerebellum. It regulates autonomic functions including: blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, and breathing. It also relays sensory information to the brain stem centers. It is the communication center between the brain and spinal cord.