Chapter 4 A Tour of the Brain • Brain Stem – the part of the brain at the top of the spinal cord, consisting of the medulla and pons. • Pons – a structure in the brain stem involved in, among other things, sleeping, waking, and dreaming. • Medulla – a structure in the brain stem responsible for certain automatic functions, such as breathing and heart rate. • Reticular Activating System – a dense network of neurons found in the core of the brain stem; it arouses the cortex and screens incoming information • Cerebellum – a brain structure that regulates movement and balance and is involved in the learning of certain kinds of simple responses. • Thalamus – a brain structure that relays sensory messages to the cerebral cortex. • Hypothalamus – a brain structure involved in emotions and drives vital to survival (fear, hunger, thirst, and reproduction); regulates autonomic nervous system • Pituitary Gland – small endocrine glad at the base of the brain, which releases
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