(also reticular activating system)
A diffuse network of nerve pathways in the brainstem connecting the spinal cord, cerebrum, and cerebellum, and mediating the overall level of consciousness.
- Suggestions for regions of the brain that could be the site of action have included the brain stem reticular formation, the cerebral cortex, and the thalamus.
- For example, it is possible that the brainstem reticular formation is divided into the same number of nuclei in all jawed vertebrates.
- In the central nervous system, the reticular activating system is a major pathway for communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
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