Glossary

Anterior Column
white matter between the anterior horns of the spinal cord composed of many different groups of axons of both ascending and descending tracts
Anterior Column
white matter between the anterior horns of the spinal cord composed of many different groups of axons of both ascending and descending tracts
Anterior Horn
gray matter of the spinal cord containing multipolar motor neurons, sometimes referred to as the ventral horn
Anterior Median Fissure
deep midline feature of the anterior spinal cord, marking the separation between the right and left sides of the cord
Anterior Corticospinal Tract
division of the corticospinal pathway that travels through the ventral (anterior) column of the spinal cord and controls axial musculature through the medial motor neurons in the ventral (anterior) horn
Ascending Tract
central nervous system fibers carrying sensory information from the periphery through the spinal cord to the brain
Cauda Equina
bundle of spinal nerve roots that descend from the lower spinal cord below the first lumbar vertebra and lie within the vertebral cavity; has the appearance of a horse's tail
Cervical Enlargement
region of the ventral (anterior) horn of the spinal cord that has a larger population of motor neurons for the greater number of and finer control of muscles of the upper limb
Central Canal
hollow space within the spinal cord that is the remnant of the center of the neural tube and contains circulating CSF
Corticobulbar Tract
connection between the cortex and the brain stem responsible for generating movement
Corticospinal Tract
connection between the cortex and the spinal cord responsible for generating movement
Descending Tract
central nervous system fibers carrying motor commands from the brain to the spinal cord or periphery
Drsal (posterior) Nerve Root
axons entering the posterior horn of the spinal cord
Dorsal (posterior) Root Ganglion
sensory ganglion attached to the posterior nerve root of a spinal nerve
Foramen Magnum
large opening in the occipital bone of the skull through which the spinal cord emerges and the vertebral arteries enter the cranium
Intercostal Nerve
systemic nerve in the thoracic cavity that is found between two ribs
Lateral Column
white matter of the spinal cord between the posterior horn on one side and the axons from the anterior horn on the same side; composed of many different groups of axons, of both ascending and descending tracts, carrying motor commands to and from the brain
Lateral Horn
region of the spinal cord gray matter in the thoracic, upper lumbar, and sacral regions that is the central component of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system
Lateral Corticospinal Tract
division of the corticospinal pathway that travels through the lateral column of the spinal cord and controls appendicular musculature through the lateral motor neurons in the ventral (anterior) horn
Lumbar Enlargement
region of the ventral (anterior) horn of the spinal cord that has a larger population of motor neurons for the greater number of muscles of the lower limb
Posterior Columns
white matter of the spinal cord that lies between the posterior horns of the gray matter, sometimes referred to as the dorsal column; composed of axons of ascending tracts that carry sensory information up to the brain
Posterior Horn
gray matter region of the spinal cord in which sensory input arrives, sometimes referred to as the dorsal horn
Posterior Median Sulcus
midline feature of the posterior spinal cord, marking the separation between right and left sides of the cord
Spinal Nerve
one of 31 nerves connected to the spinal cord; contains both sensory and motor neurons
Spinothalamic Tract
ascending tract of the spinal cord associated with pain and temperature sensations, which are sent to the thalamus then to the cortex
Ventral (anterior) Nerve Root
axons emerging from the anterior or lateral horns of the spinal cord

Grant and Other Information

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Other text from OpenStaxCollege licensed under CC BY 3.0. Modified by Alice Rudolph, M.A., Andrea Doub, M.S. and Dr. Gustavo Solis, M.D. for c3bc.
Instructional Design by Courtney A. Harrington, Ph.D., Helen Dollyhite, M.A. and Caroline Smith, M.A. for c3bc.
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