Organization in the descending tracts of the dorsolateral funiculus in the cat

Yanmei Tie, Mesut Sahin, Nappinnai Sundararajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organization of the fibers in the descending tracts of the dorsolateral funiculus of the cervical spinal cord was investigated in cats. The spinal cord was penetrated with microelectrodes at 400 μm intervals in the medio-lateral direction at the c5/c6 and c6/c7 segmental borders. Silicon substrate microelectrodes with a linear arrangement of activated iridium contacts were used. The stimulus consisted of a 20 ms train of charge balanced biphasic current pulses at 330 Hz. The evoked activities from selected forelimb muscles were acquired into computer. Only the data points with an activation threshold of less than 35 μA were considered in the analysis. Muscle contractions were mostly in the form of short twitches. In both spinal segments, an area of high threshold was found in the middle of the dorsolateral funiculus. Majority of the muscles studied had a dorsal or ventral concentration of activation points. The distal muscles were mostly activated in the ventro-lateral aspect of the funiculus, while the elbow muscle maps spread to both dorsal and ventral sides. These results show a functional organization in both cervical segments studied, with overlapping regions between the areas dedicated for each forelimb muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 30 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Corticospinal tract
  • Functional organization
  • Rubrospinal tract
  • Spinal cord stimulation


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