Medulla oblongata:

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frequently referred to simply as the medulla, the medulla oblongata is the lowest portion of the brainstem and the point where the spinal cord connects to the brainstem. It contains a number of important tracts and nuclei, including nuclei that are necessary for maintaining vital functions like heart rate and respiration.

Read more: Know your brain - Brainstem

Watch this 2-Minute Neuroscience video to learn more.