Ascending and Long Spinal Pathways: Dorsal Columns, Spinocervical Tract and Spinothalamic Tract

  • A. G. Brown
Part of the Handbook of Sensory Physiology book series (SENSORY, volume 2)


The organization of ascending spinal cord pathways concerned with somatosensory mechanisms is not the same for all mammals. In particular there are differences in the development of the spinocervical and spinothalamic tracts, and also subtle variations in the dorsal column system. Furthermore, the types, proportions and axonal conduction velocities of cutaneous afferent units vary according to species (see chapters 2, 3 and 4). It is obvious, therefore, that extreme caution should be exercised in 1) extrapolating results obtained from one species to another, particularly to man, 2) equating the functions of similar anatomical systems in different species, and 3) equating the functions of differently located ascending systems in different species, e. g. the spinocervical tract of carnivores with the spinothalamic tract of primates.


Dorsal Horn Dorsal Column Spinal Pathway Spinothalamic Tract Acta Physiol 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. G. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.EdinburghGreat Britain

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