The part of the brain that is that contains the centers controlling involuntary vital functions.

See also: brain stem, mesencephalon, pons

the medulla oblongata also functions as a router for electrical impulses between the spinal cord and the brain.

To elaborate on Kalie Ma's definition, the medulla oblongata has three vital centres:

It's also responsible for certain reflex actions such as swallowing, sneezing and vomiting.

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