Sensory Pathways in the Dorsal Funiculus
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The best-studied sensory tract that originates in the spinal cord is the dorsal column-medial lemniscus pathway (Fig. 9.1). The initial part of this pathway consists of branches of primary afferent fibers that ascend to the medulla oblongata in the dorsal funiculus. The dorsal funiculus is subdivided into two components known as the fasciculus gracilis and the fasciculus cuneatus (Latin for thin and wedge-shaped bundles, respectively). The fasciculus gracilis contains the ascending branches of primary afferent fibers from levels caudal to the midthoracic region, whereas the fasciculus cuneatus contains the branches of afferent fibers that originate from midthoracic to upper cervical levels.
KeywordsDorsal Column Pacinian Corpuscle Primary Afferent Fiber Medial Lemniscus Cuneate Nucleus
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