Cross references:    Thalamus     Thalamus Motor Relay    Thalamus Tectal Connections     
Reticulospinal Transmission          Locomotion Sequence   

Brainstem (Wiki)
    "In the anatomy of humans and of many other vertebrates, the brainstem (or brain stem) is the posterior part of the brain, adjoining and structurally continuous with the spinal cord. In humans it is usually described as including the medulla oblongata (myelencephalon), pons (part of metencephalon), and midbrain (mesencephalon).[1][2]  
    Less frequently, parts of the diencephalon are included." 

File:1311 Brain Stem.jpg

    "Though small, this is an extremely important part of the brain as the nerve connections of the motor and sensory systems from the main part of the brain to the rest of the body pass through the brainstem. This includes the corticospinal tract (motor), the posterior column-medial lemniscus pathway (fine touch, vibration sensation, and proprioception), and the spinothalamic tract (pain, temperature, itch, and crude touch)."   


Searching PubMed for "brainstem" found 209,702 references:       

Searching PubMed for "brainstem afferent" found 11,844 references:   

Searching PubMed for "brainstem afferent thalamus" found 1,513 references:   

Searching PubMed for "brainstem afferent tectum" found 1,106 references:   

Searching PubMed for "brainstem afferent pretectum" found 125 references:   

This last is a smaller enough search that it is worth the time and effort. 

Hindbrain (Wiki)  
The hindbrain or rhombencephalon is a developmental categorization of portions of the central nervous system in vertebrates. It includes the medulla, pons, and cerebellum. Together they support vital bodily processes.[1]"  


The hindbrain can be subdivided in a variable number of transversal swellings called rhombomeres. In the human embryo eight rhombomeres can be distinguished, from caudal to rostral: Rh8-Rh1. Rostrally, the isthmus demarcates the boundary with the midbrain.     



A. The cranial nerves:

The cranial nerves (with the exception of I and II) originate in the brainstem, which includes the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla. The 12 cranial nerves can be divided into sensory, motor, or mixed nerves. Overall, sensory nerve nuclei tend to be located in the lateral brainstem, while motor nuclei tend to be located medially. Nerves with mixed sensory and motor fibers must have more than one nucleus of origin - at least one sensory (afferent) and one motor (efferent). Sometimes more than one nerve will originate from a single nucleus: for example, the sense of taste is spread across at least two nerves but merges into a single nucleus. Finally, keep in mind that any sensory nucleus is receiving input from the periphery, but the sensory receptor cell bodies are never in the nucleus itself. They will always be located just outside the CNS in a ganglion.

Here is a dorsal view of the brainstem, looking down through it as though it were transparent, so you can see the relative positions of the cranial nerve nuclei. Motor or efferent nuclei are blue, sensory or afferent nuclei are yellow. Note that this is a schematic to give you the big picture - some of these nuclei would technically overlap if you could really see through the brainstem.


EW: Edinger-Westphal nuc.
III: oculomotor nuc.
IV: trochlear nuc.
meV: mesencephalic nuc. of V
V: trigeminal
moV: motor nuc. of V
senV: main sensory nuc. of V
spV: spinal nuc. of V
VI: abducens nuc.
VII: facial nuc.
VIIIc: cochlear nuc.
VIIIv: vestibular nuc.
IX: glossopharyngeal
X: vagus
amb: nuc. ambiguus
dnv: dorsal nuc. of the vagus
sol: solitary nucleus
XII: hypoglossal nuc.

Not shown:
-cranial nerve I
-cranial nerve II
-cranial nerve XI
-salivatory nuclei