Tectospinal tract

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Tectospinal tract
Diagram showing possible connection of long descending fibers from higher centers with the motor cells of the ventral column through association fibers. ("Tectospinal fasciculus" labeled at center right.)
Diagram of the principal fasciculi of the spinal cord. ("Tectospinal fasciculus" labeled at center right, in red.)
Latin t. tectospinalis
Gray's subject #185 760
Dorlands/Elsevier t_15/12817309


In humans, the tectospinal tract (also known as colliculospinal tract) is a nerve pathway which coordinates head and eye movements. It is part of the indirect extrapyramidal tract. Specifically, the tectospinal tract connects the midbrain tectum and the spinal cord.

It is responsible for motor impulses that arise from one side of the midbrain to muscles on the opposite side of the body.

The portion of the midbrain from where this tract originates is the superior colliculus, which receives afferents from the visual nuclei (primarily the oculomotor nuclei complex), then projects to the contralateral portion of the spinal cord.

The tract descends to the cervical spinal cord to terminate in Rexed laminae VI, VII, and VIII to coordinate head, neck, and eye movements, primarily in response to visual stimuli.

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