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11 Feb 2012
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Axons from the brain descend through the spinal cord along two major groups of pathways (see fig. The most important component of this pathway is the corticospinal tract (see fig. A much smaller component of the lateral pathways is the rubrospinal tract, which orginates in the red nucleus of the midbrain (see fig. A major source of input to the red nucleus is the region of the front cortex that contributes to the corticospinal tract. y. It contributes to motor control in many mammalian species. In humans it appears to be reduced, most of its functions subsumed by the corticospinal tract. It contains four descending tracts that orginate in the brain stem and terminate among the spinal interneurons controlling proximal and axial muscles: y vestibulospinal tract y tectospinal tract y pontine reticulospinal tract y medullary reticulospinal tract. The ventromedial pathways use sensory information about balance, body position, and the visual environment to reflexively maintain balance and body posture.

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