Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The solitary nucleus and tract are structures in the brainstem that carry and receive visceral sensation and taste from the facial (VII), glossopharyngeal (IX), vagus (X) cranial nerves, as well as the cranial part of the accessory nerve (XI).
The nucleus is located along the length of the medulla (with a small portion in the lower pons). The solitary tract runs in the middle of the nucleus, creating a speck of white matter (axons of the tract), surrounded by grey matter (the nucleus). This stands out on a stained section, which is where the name solitary comes from.
Inputs to the solitary nucleus
Outputs from the solitary nucleus
From the solitary nucleus, most information goes to the hypothalamus and cingulate gyrus, as well as to other nuclei in the brainstem (such as visceral motor or respiratory centres). There is not much conscious awareness of visceral sensation (visceral pain is not part of this system), most results are reflexes or unconscious.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details