Second Order Neuron

The dorsal column fibers terminate in the nucleus gracilis and cuneatus at the level of the medulla. Again, the nucleus gracilis is medial to the cuneatus and each nucleus subserves the same body region, as represented in its respective funiculus. In these nuclei, the primary afferent fibers synapse and the second-order sensory afferents send projections more rostrally through the medial lemniscus after the fibers decussate as the internal arcuate fibers in the medulla. The somatotopic organization is preserved throughout the course of the medial lemniscus. The medial lemniscus remains medial in the medulla and pons, sweeping more laterally at the level of the midbrain.

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