medulla oblongata


medulla ob·lon·ga·ta

noun \-ˌä-ˌblŋ-ˈgä-tə\
plural medulla oblongatas or medullae ob·lon·ga·tae \-ˈgä-tē, -ˌtī\

Definition of MEDULLA OBLONGATA

:  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

medulla ob·lon·ga·ta

noun \-ˌäb-ˌlŋ-ˈgät-ə\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural medulla oblongatas or medullae ob·lon·ga·tae \-ˈgät-ē, -ˈgä-ˌtī\

Medical Definition of MEDULLA OBLONGATA

: 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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