Ascending & Descending tracts of spinal cord

Medical School Lecture Notes - Trusted & Reliable

General overview

  • Ascending tracts
  • Sensory
  • Descending tracts
    • Motor

    General arrangement of both tracts

    • 1st order neuron
    • 2nd order neuron
    • 3rd order neuron

    The only difference is the different locations where each order of neuron ends.

    Decussation is the cross-over of the tract from one side to the other. Therefore, there are instances where the left side of the body is controlled by the right brain hemisphere. Decussation occurs at different locations for each tracts.


    Descending tracts (Motor)


    General arrangement of descending tracts

    • 1st order neuron
    • First-order neurons conduct impulses from receptors of the skin and from proprioceptors (receptors located in a join, muscle or tendon) to the spinal cord or brain stem, where they synapse with second-order neurons. First-order neuron’s cell bodes reside in ganglion (dorsal root or cranial).
    • starts at the cerebral cortex in the somatomotor area
  • 2nd order neuron
    • 2nd neuron to carry an order. The order…

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