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medulla oblongata

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noun medulla ob·lon·ga·ta \-ˌä-ˌblȯŋ-ˈgä-tə\

Definition of medulla oblongata

plural medulla oblongatas or medullae ob·lon·ga·tae play \-ˈgä-tē, -ˌtī\

  1. :  the part of the vertebrate brain that is continuous posteriorly with the spinal cord and that contains the centers controlling involuntary vital functions — see brain illustration



Origin of medulla oblongata

New Latin, literally, oblong medulla


First Known Use: 1668


Medical Dictionary

medulla oblongata

play
noun medulla ob·lon·ga·ta \-ˌäb-ˌlȯŋ-ˈgät-ə\

Medical Definition of medulla oblongata

plural medulla oblongatas or medullae ob·lon·ga·tae \-ˈgät-ē, -ˈgä-ˌtī\play play

  1. :  the somewhat pyramidal last part of the vertebrate brain developed from the posterior portion of the hindbrain and continuous posteriorly with the spinal cord, enclosing the fourth ventricle, and containing nuclei associated with most of the cranial nerves, major fiber tracts and decussations that link spinal with higher centers, and various centers mediating the control of involuntary vital functions (as respiration)



Illustration of medulla oblongata


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