Lateral corticospinal tract

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Lateral corticospinal tract
File:Medulla spinalis - tracts - English.svg
Anterior corticospinal tract is 1a, in red at left.
Latin tractus corticospinalis lateralis, fasciculus cerebrospinalis lateralis
Gray's subject #185 759
Dorlands/Elsevier t_15/12816937


The lateral corticospinal tract (also called the crossed pyramidal tract or lateral cerebrospinal fasciculus) is the largest part of the corticospinal tract. It extends throughout the entire length of the medulla spinalis, and on transverse section appears as an oval area in front of the posterior column and medial to the posterior spinocerebellar tract.

Its fibres arise from cells in the motor area of the cerebral hemisphere of the opposite side.

They pass downward in company with those of the anterior corticospinal tract through the same side of the brain as that from which they originate, but they cross to the opposite side in the medulla oblongata and descend in the lateral funiculus of the medulla spinalis.

The lateral corticospinal tract moves limbs and digits.[1]


  1. Kolb & Whishaw, Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology, 2003

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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.