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Brain: Pons
Diagram showing the positions of the three principal subarachnoid cisternæ. (Pons visible at center.)
Anteroinferior view of the medulla oblongata and pons.
Gray's subject #187 785
Part of Brain stem
Artery pontine arteries
Vein transverse and lateral pontine veins
NeuroNames hier-538
MeSH Pons
NeuroLex ID birnlex_733

The pons (sometimes pons Varolii after Costanzo Varolio, a 16th-century Italian anatomist and surgeon) is a structure located on the brain stem. It is cranial to (up from) the medulla oblongata, caudal to (down from) the midbrain, and ventral to (in front of) the cerebellum. In humans and other bipeds this means it is above the medulla, below the midbrain, and anterior to the cerebellum. Its white matter includes tracts that conduct signals from the cerebrum down to the cerebellum and medulla, and tracts that carry the sensory signals up into the thalamus.[1]

The pons measures about 2.5 cm long. Most of it appears as a broad anterior bulge rostral to the medulla. Posteriorly, it consists mainly of two pairs of thick stalks called cerebrellar peduncles. They connect the cerebellum to the pons and midbrain. [2]

The pons contains nuclei that relay signals from the cerebrum to the cerebellum, along with nuclei that deal primarily with sleep, respiration, swallowing, bladder control, hearing, equilibrium, taste, eye movement, facial expressions, facial sensation, and posture.[3]

Pons is Latin for bridge.

Within the pons is the pneumotaxic center, a nucleus in the pons that regulates the change from inspiration to expiration.[4]


Embryonic Development

During embryonic development the embryonic metencephalon develops into two structures: the pons and the cerebellum.[5]

Cranial nerve nuclei

A number of cranial nerve nuclei are present in the pons:

The functions of these four nerves include sensory roles in hearing, equilibrium, and taste, and in facial sensations such as touch and pain; as well as motor roles in eye movement, facial expressions, chewing, swallowing, urination, and the secretion of saliva and tears. [6]

Related diseases

Additional images


  1. ^ Saladin Kenneth S.(2007)
  2. ^ Saladin Kenneth S. (2007)
  3. ^ Saladin Kenneth S.(2007)
  4. ^ Saladin Kenneth S.(2007)
  5. ^ Saladin Kenneth S.(2007)
  6. ^ Saladin Kenneth S. (2007)

Saladin Kenneth S.(2007) Anatomy & physiology the unity of form and function. Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill

External links



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