The medulla spinalis may be a long, thin, tubular structure made from nerve tissue, which extends from the medulla within the brainstem to the lumbar region of the spinal column. It encloses the central canal of the medulla spinalis, which contains spinal fluid. The brain and medulla spinalis together structure the central systema nervosum (CNS). In humans, the medulla spinalis begins at the membrane bone, passing through the foramen and entering the vertebral canal at the start of the cervical vertebrae. The medulla spinalis extends right down to between the primary and second lumbar vertebrae, where it ends. The enclosing bony spinal column protects the relatively shorter medulla spinalis. It's around 45 cm (18 in) in men and around 43 cm (17 in) long in women. The diameter of the medulla spinalis ranges from 13 mm (1⁄2 in) within the cervical and lumbar regions to six .4 mm (1⁄4 in) within the thoracic area. The medulla spinalis functions primarily within the transmission of nerve signals from the motor area to the body, and from the afferent fibers of the sensory neurons to the sensory cortex. It's also middle for coordinating many reflexes and contains reflex arcs which will independently control reflexes. It's also the situation of groups of spinal interneurons that structure the neural circuits referred to as central pattern generators. These circuits are liable for controlling motor instructions for rhythmic movements like walking.
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