Definition: A pencil-shaped structure forming the core of the brain stem. The reticular formation arouses the cortex to keep the brain alert and attentive to new stimulation.

Quite Simply ...

  • The part of the brain that keeps you "alert".
  • Helps you pay attention to new stimulation.
  • Connected to the thalamus.
  • The reticular formation is a group of nerve fibers located inside the brain stem.

Examples of stimulus gernerlization

  • Part of the sympathetic nervous system.
  • Acts as an "alarm system".
  • Detects potential threats and sets off automatic responses.
  • Working with the amygdala and thalamus to monitor incoming information, the reticular formation will set off responses such as accelerated heart rate, dry mouth, and muscles tensing up when a threat is detected.
  • Functions for the ability to obtain recuperative sleep, sexual arousal, and the ability to focus on a task without being easily distracted.

See Also:

The Brain Stem
The Brain Stem

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