What is Reticular Formation?

A reticular Formation is a diffuse group of neurons within the medulla oblongata and pons.

The control of the alertness and consciousness is related to the part of the brain that is the reticular formation.

It receives sensory information both somatic and visceral.

Location of Reticular Formation

Reticular Formation is located in the brain stem.

It lies throughout the length of the brain stem.

It ascends the projections to the thalamus, hypothalamus, and cortex.

It also has a role in regulating breath rate and heart rate.

Efferents from the reticular formation are

Efferent connection

1) To the spinal cord
2) To brain stem

The major efferent projection from the reticular formation is the ascending reticular activating system.

It is a polysynaptic pathway.

The Reticular activating system receives collaterals from the slow pain pathway which gives the richest collateral to the reticular activating system.

It also receives afferents from trigeminal, auditory, visual, and olfactory pathways.

The efferent projections from the reticular activating system ascend the non-specific thalamic nuclei.

They are intralaminar and midline nuclei and they projected diffusely and non specifically to the neocortex.

Some fibers also bypass the thalamus.

The Reticular activating system forms the core portion of the brain stem.

The specific fibers occupy the lateral side of the Reticular formation.

So, the specific fibers are called specific projections whereas the non-specific fibers from the reticular activating system are called non-specific projections.

By Salman

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