The olive is the ventral oval prominence in the medulla oblongata which contains the inferior olivary nucleus, implicated in motor co-ordination.

Gross anatomy

The olive is a smooth ovoid prominence just below the pons. It is located in the superior medulla, lateral to the pyramid and ventrolateral sulcus.

The hypoglossal nerve and ventrolateral sulcus separates it from the pyramid. The posterolateral sulcus of the spinal cord separates the olive from the inferior cerebellar peduncle, which forms the lateral surface of the medulla. 

The glossopharyngeal, vagus and accessory nerves have rootlets between the olive and inferior cerebellar peduncle. The facial nerve arises at the just above the olive, inferior to the pons. 

The posterior inferior cerebellar artery arises anterior to the caudal olive in the premedullary cistern, from the vertebral artery.

Anatomy: Brain

Anatomy: Brain

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Article information

rID: 59257
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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