Cuneate fasciculus

Cuneate fasciculus

Cuneate fasciculus is labeled in blue at upper right.

Diagram of the principal fasciculi of the spinal cord.
Latin fasciculus cuneatus medullae spinalis
TA A14.1.02.244
FMA 73941

Anatomical terminology

The cuneate fasciculus, fasciculus cuneatus (tract of Burdach, named for Karl Friedrich Burdach) is a tract of nerves in the spinal cord that primarily transmits information from the arms. It is part of the posterior column-medial lemniscus pathway.


The fasciculus cuneatus is triangular on transverse section, and lies between the fasciculus gracilis and the posterior column, its base corresponding with the surface of the medulla spinalis.

Its fibers, larger than those of the fasciculus gracilis, are mostly derived from the same source, viz., the posterior nerve roots.

Some ascend for only a short distance in the tract, and, entering the gray matter, come into close relationship with the cells of the dorsal nucleus, while others can be traced as far as the medulla oblongata, where they end in the gracile nucleus and cuneate nucleus.


The fasciculus cuneatus transmits fine touch, fine pressure, vibration, and proprioception information from spinal nerves located in dermatomes C1 through T6.


The fasciculus cuneatus tract is composed of first-order neurons that synapse onto second-order neurons in the brain stem.

The second-order neurons decussate in the brainstem and continue on to the thalamus where the second-order neurons synapse onto third-order neurons.

The third-order neurons carry the received signals to the somatosensory cortex, where the signals, in the form of action potentials, are interpreted.

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This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/30/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.