The medulla oblongata is the lower half of the brain-stem. The medulla oblongata helps in the transferring of messages between various parts of the brain and the spinal cord. Motor and sensory neurons from the mid-brain and fore-brain travel through the medulla. In discussions of neurology and similar contexts where no ambiguity will result, it is often referred to as simply the medulla. The medulla contains the cardiac, respiratory, vomiting and vasomotor centers and deals with autonomic, involuntary functions, such as breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.