Today's Word of the Day means...
medulla oblongata medulla ob·lon·ga·ta (ŏb'lŏng-gā'tə, -gä'tə)
n. pl. medulla ob·lon·ga·tas or medullae ob·lon·ga·tae (-gā'tē, -gä'tē)
The lowermost portion of the vertebrate brain, continuous with the spinal cord and responsible for the control of respiration, circulation, and other bodily functions.
the lowest part of the brain and the lowest portion of the brainstem. The medulla oblongata is connected by the pons to the midbrain and is continuous posteriorly with the spinal cord, with which it merges at the opening (foramen magnum) at the base of the skull.