Show Summary Details
Page of

Central Parts of the Somatosensory System 

Central Parts of the Somatosensory System
Central Parts of the Somatosensory System

Per Brodal

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 08 March 2021

Chapter 14 discusses neurons and pathways in the central nervous system that process somatosensory information. Somatosensory pathways consist of a chain of three neurons from the receptors to the cerebral cortex. Thick dorsal root fibers continue rostrally in the dorsal columns to end in the dorsal column nuclei. The next link forms the medial lemniscus that ends in the thalamus on the opposite side. From the thalamus, axons pass to the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). This pathway is important for discriminatory sensation. Signals conveyed in the thin dorsal root fibers are transmitted centrally in the spinothalamic tract, which is important for nociception. In the SI, signals from the body ends somatotopically, with signals from the face ending most laterally. In addition, the spinothalamic tract sends signals to other parts of the cortex such as the insula. Further analysis and integration with other sensory modalities occur in the posterior parietal cortex.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.