Definitions

nucleus gracilis

Fasciculus gracilis

The fasciculus gracilis (tract of Goll) is a bundle of axon fibres in the dorsomedial spinal cord that carries information about fine touch, vibrations, and conscious proprioception from the lower part of the body to the brain stem. It is part of the posterior column of the spinal cord, which also contains the fasciculus cuneatus which carries the same information from the upper part of the body. This tract and its continuation in the brain stem is often referred to as the posterior column-medial lemniscus pathway.

The fasciculus gracilis is wedge-shaped on transverse section and lies next the posterior median septum, its base being at the surface of the medulla spinalis, and its apex directed toward the posterior gray commissure.

It increases in size from below upward, and consists of long thin fibers which are derived from the posterior nerve roots, and ascend as far as the medulla oblongata, where they end in the nucleus gracilis. The tract of Goll was named after Swiss neuroanatomist Friedrich Goll (1829–1903).

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