Laboratory 12 : Tract Systems I
  Somatomotor System : Medial and Lateral Vestibulospinal Tract

Medial and Lateral Vestibulospinal Tracts

It is important to note that:

  • LATERAL vestibulospinal tract stays ipsilateral (doesn’t decussate) and is NOT bilateral.
    • This tract is a part of the somatomotor ventromedial group, so it innervates proximal and axial muscles.
    • Controls posture and balance.
    • Provides extensor tone to resist the pull of gravity.
  • The MEDIAL vestibulospinal tract is bilateral and limited to cervical spinal cord segments.


Slide 30 : Pons & Midbrain

  • Lateral Vestibulospinal Tract begins in lateral vestibular nuclei.
  • Axons pass through reticular formation of rostral medulla.

Slide 6 : C7

  • Axons are located in ventromedial part of ventral funiculus.
  • Axons in the cervical region affect the forelimbs.

Slide 2 : L6

  • Synapses on interneurons in ventral horn of spinal cord, sending motor signals out through ventral roots to the hindlimb.

Copyright © 2006 - University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, All rights reserved.
Faculty: Dr. Richard Miselis, Dr. Peter Hand
Students: Natalie Fickel V'12, Ryan Donahue V'09, Cara Catanese V’08, Rebecca Wolf V'06, Keith Javic V'03, Ken Bixel V'99, Russel Howe-Smith V'97