Human Body

Tissues, Organs, and Glands

What are the major divisions of the brain?

The brain has four major divisions: 1) brainstem, including the medulla oblongata, pons, and midbrain; 2) cerebellum; 3) cerebrum; and 4) diencephalon. The diencephalon is further divided into the thalamus, hypothalamus, epithalamus, and ventral thalamus or subthalamus.

Brain Area General Functions
Medulla oblongata Relays messages between spinal cord and brain and to cerebrum; center for control and regulation of cardiac, respiratory, and digestive activities
Pons Relays information from medulla and other areas of the brain; controls certain respiratory functions
Midbrain Involved with the processing of visual information, including visual reflexes, movement of eyes, focusing of lens and dilation of pupils
Cerebellum Processing center involved with coordination of movements, balance and equilibrium, posture; processes sensory information used by motor systems
Cerebrum Center for conscious thought processes and intellectual functions, memory, sensory perception, and emotions
Thalamus Relay and processing center for sensory information
Hypothalamus Regulates body temperature, water balance, sleep-wake cycles, appetite, emotions, and hormone production


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