The medulla oblongata helps transfer messages to the spinal cord and the thalamus, which is in the brain, from the body. The main function of the thalamus is to process information to and from the spinal cord and the cerebellum. It helps regulate breathing, heart and blood vessel function, digestion, sneezing, and swallowing. This part of the brain is a center for respiration and circulation. Sensory and motor neurons (nerve cells) from the forebrain and midbrain travel through the medulla.
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