The Human Body

Medulla Oblongata

Medulla Oblongata, the long, stalklike lowermost portion of the brain stem. At the top, it is continuous with the pons and the midbrain; at the bottom, it makes a gradual transition into the spinal cord at the foramen magnum. Sensory and motor nerve fibers connecting the brain and the rest of the body cross over to the opposite side as they pass through the medulla. Thus, the left half of the brain communicates with the right half of the body, and the right half of the brain with the left half of the body.