Gracile tubercle

The clava, also known as the gracile tubercle is located in the medulla oblongata, otherwise known as the lower brainstem. It processes sensation from the lower body, such as the legs and the trunk. To be precise, it is responsible for all feelings of touch, heat, pain and other sensations below the sixth thoracic vertebra, often described as T6. T6 is located just below the armpits. It also allows the brain to process where other body parts are in relation to each other. This is why humans can walk while blindfolded. The neurons within the clava form a bump on the brainstem known as the gracile tubercle. These neurons are second-order neurons that carry information from the clava to the medial lemniscus. These neurons are also known as the internal arcuate fibers. This then transmits the information to the thalamus, which is responsible for all autonomic nervous responses. The counterpart of the clava that controls the upper body's sensations is the cuneate nucleus.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Gracile tubercle

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