What is the function of the medulla oblongata? (A) To control fine motor movements, posture, balance, and coordination. (B) To control voluntary movements and help with memory and speech. (C) To store and release hormones produced by the hypothalamus. (D) To receive and process auditory and visual information. (E) To control breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.
To recall the function of the medulla oblongata, we need to review the components and
functions of the hindbrain. From a developmental perspective, the brain has three divisions: the forebrain, the
midbrain, and the hindbrain. Structures of the hindbrain include the pons, the cerebellum, and the medulla
oblongata. Together, these structures support and coordinate functions that are crucial to human
The medulla oblongata is the lowest part of the overall hindbrain, where the brain
transitions to the spinal cord. The medulla oblongata is about three centimeters in length, which compared to the
overall size of the brain is relatively small. Despite the small size, the medulla oblongata is important for our survival because
it contains all of the control centers for our autonomic functions. These functions include things that we do every day without thinking about it, such
as controlling our heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, swallowing, and
sneezing. This means as you are sitting and watching this video, your body is busy doing some
crucial things without you having to think about it. This is all made possible by your medulla oblongata.
So to answer the question, we can evaluate each answer choice to identify the choices
that are an autonomic, involuntary function. Now we have this information, we can answer the question. The function of the medulla oblongata is to control breathing, blood pressure, and