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The Brain Stem and the Cranial Nerves 

The Brain Stem and the Cranial Nerves
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date: 08 March 2021

Chapter 26 deals with the reticular formation and its multifarious tasks. It occupies central parts of the brain stem and fills the territories not occupied by cranial nerve nuclei and large fiber tracts. The raphe nuclei and the locus coeruleus are included in the reticular formation. Although the reticular formation consists of many functionally diverse subdivisions, they all share some anatomic features. Efferent connections reach most parts of the central nervous system, while afferents bring all kinds of sensory information. Subdivisions of the reticular formation form premotor networks that organize several complex behaviors, such as body posture, eye movement control, breathing, and the activity of the visceral organs. In addition, the reticular formation sends connections to the thalamus and the cerebral cortex, forming the brain stem activating system. The integrity of this system is a prerequisite for consciousness. Further, the reticular formation is concerned with sleep regulation.

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