The pons is located in the brain stem below the midbrain and above the medulla oblongata. It functions as a relay station between the cerebellum and the cerebrum as well as between the cerebrum and the rest of the body.
There are multiple fiber tracts including motor tracts that traverse the pons. It also has a role in arousal through the reticular activating system. Cranial nerve nuclei including those for the trigeminal (sensory nerve to the face and muscles of mastication), facial (nerve for muscles of facial expression), abducens (eye movement), and the vestibulocochlear nerve (hearing, balance) are located in the pons (Nolte 2002).
References and Readings
- Nolte, J. (2002). The human brain: An introduction to it’s functional anatomy (5th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.Google Scholar