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2 Tutorials that teach Hindbrain and Midbrain
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Hindbrain and Midbrain

Hindbrain and Midbrain

Author: Amanda Soderlind

Understand the makeup and function of the cerebellum and brainstem.

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The Cerebellum

Source: Video and Images Created by Amanda Soderlind

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Welcome to this lesson on the cerebellum. Today, we are going to be discussing the role of the cerebellum and identify its location in the brain. So the cerebellum is a part of the brain that's located in the hindbrain. If you are familiar with the different regions of the brain, you may know that the brain has a hindbrain, a forebrain, and a midbrain. So the cerebellum is a part of the brain located in the hindbrain. And it is the largest region of the hindbrain.

The main role of the cerebellum is to coordinate voluntary movements. But it also has a role in coordinating motor activities, spatial awareness, timing, and planning. So it's responsible for providing the timing needed for smooth, coordinated movements.

And the cerebellum plays a key role in field sobriety tests. So alcohol has a direct effect on the cerebellum. So somebody who gets pulled over, for example, by a police officer and has to take a field sobriety test-- the police officer is actually measuring their cerebellar functions. So the cerebellum is the part of the brain, as we said, that controls your voluntary or your motor movements. So a person who is under the influence has inhibited coordination. So that's what they're measuring in a field sobriety test, is how well they're able to coordinate their movements.

So if we take a look at our diagram down here, we have a diagram of the brain. And we are going to identify on here exactly where the cerebellum is. So the cerebellum we have identified in green here. So you'll notice it's quite a large region of the hindbrain. So our midbrain is the small area up here, our forebrain is the large area her, and our hindbrain is located down here. So the cerebellum is a large area in the hindbrain. So this lesson has been an overview on the functions of the cerebellum.

The Brainstem

Source: Video and Images Created by Amanda Soderlind

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Welcome to this lesson on the brainstem. In this lesson, we will discuss the structure and function of the brainstem. So the brainstem is formed by three other areas of the brain called the pons, medulla, and the midbrain. And the brainstem connects to the spinal cord. So nerve connections of the motor and sensory systems will pass through the brainstem because the brainstem is connected to the spinal cord, and those nerve connections also run through the spinal cord.

The brainstem plays a large role in regulating breathing, heartbeat, reflexes, consciousness, and sleep. So the three parts of the brainstem are what act in order to regulate those functions. So damage to the brainstem can be extremely dangerous or fatal if it does happen, just because the brainstem does play such a huge role in these functions and because it has these nerve connections that pass through them. So it doesn't appear to be a huge part of the brain sizewise, but it does have a lot of very important roles.

So we're going to take a look at this diagram down here and label the different parts of the brainstem. So our membrane, located up here, our membrane, the function of that is to relay any sensory information to the forebrain. So it's kind of acting as a liaison between other parts of the brain and the forebrain. Our pons, located here, is a part of the brain that helps regulate our breathing, and it's also connected to the midbrain by nerve tracts. So it has these nerve tracts that connect the pons here to the midbrain.

And then our medulla, down here, our medulla helps to regulate our breathing, our heartbeat, reflexes such as swallowing, sneezing, coughing, and vomiting. So you can see how these three parts of the brain together, even though it makes up a small part of the brain, play a large role in the brain. OK?

So things like the breathing, the heartbeat, are very, very important things that need to be regulated. They're things that we don't have control over, we don't think about consciously. But it's very important that our brain regulates them and keeps them functioning. So this lesson has been an overview on the structure and function of the brainstem.

Video Transcription

Terms to Know

A region of the hindbrain primarily responsible for coordinating voluntary movements.  

Medulla Oblongata

A structure found in the hindbrain that helps regulate unconscious behaviors such as breathing, digestion, and sneezing.


A structure that relays sensory information to the forebrain.


A structure found in the hindbrain that relays messages from the forebrain to the cerebellum, as well as dealing with breathing, equilibrium, bladder control, and many other functions.