QS Study

Ascending and Descending Tracts of Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is the caudal continuation of the brainstem. It has numerous groups of nerve fibers going towards and coming from the brain. These have been collectively called the ascending and descending tracts of the spinal cord, respectively. The bundles of the ascending fibers are called ascending tracts, they conduct afferent information. Tracts are a bundle of nerve fibers within CNS have the same origin, same destination, and the same function.

The ascending tracts of the spinal cord are –

  • Lateral spinothalamic tract (Pain and temperature pathway),
  • Anterior spinothalamic tract (Crude touch and Pressure pathway),
  • Fasciculus gracilis and fasciculus cuneatus (Fine touch vibration pathway),
  • Posterior spinocerebellar tract,
  • Anterior spinocerebellar tract,
  • Cuneocerebellar tract.
  • Spinotectal tract,
  • Spinoreticular tract.
  • Spinoolivary tract.

The bundles of the descending fibers are called descending tracts. They conduct efferent information. Growing up, the impression was given that there were only five senses that humans can detect. These were sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch.

Ascending and Descending Tracts of Spinal Cord 1

Fig: Ascending and Descending Tracts of Spinal Cord

The descending tracts of the spinal cord are –

  • Corticospinal tracts.
  • Reticulospinal tracts.
  • Tectospinal tract.
  • Rubrospinal tract.
  • Vestibulospinal tract.
  • Olivospinal tract.
  • Descending autonomic fibers.

Muscular contraction against a relatively fixed skeletal system is the principal feature of the musculoskeletal system that facilitates locomotion.

Related Study: