What is the function of the Medulla Oblongata?
The white matter contains all of the sensory (ascending) tracts and motor (descending) tracts that extend between the spinal cord and other parts of the brain. Its nuclei contain the cardiovascular center which regulates the rate and force of the heartbeat, as well as the diameter of the blood vessels. Also contains the respiratory medullary rhythmicity area of the respiratory center which controls the basic rhythm of breathing. The medulla controls the reflexes for vomiting, swallowing, sneezing, coughing, and hiccuping. Contains nuclei that are associated with sensations of touch, pressure, vibration, and conscious proprioception. Also contains nuclei that are components of sensory pathways for taste, hearing, and balance.