Posterior commissure

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Brain: Posterior commissure
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Mesal aspect of a brain sectioned in the median sagittal plane. (Posterior commissure labeled at upper right.)
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Median sagittal section of brain. The relations of the pia mater are indicated by the red color. (Label for posterior commissure is at center top.)
Latin commissura posterior
Gray's p.812
NeuroNames hier-475
NeuroLex ID birnlex_1026

The posterior commissure (also known as the epithalamic commissure) is a rounded band of white fibers crossing the middle line on the dorsal aspect of the upper end of the cerebral aqueduct. It is important in the bilateral pupillary light reflex.

Its fibers acquire their medullary sheaths early, but their connections have not been definitively determined. Most of them have their origin in a nucleus, the nucleus of the posterior commissure (nucleus of Darkschewitsch), which lies in the central gray substance of the upper end of the cerebral aqueduct, in front of the oculomotor nucleus.

Some are probably derived from the posterior part of the thalamus and from the superior colliculus, whereas others are believed to be continued downward into the medial longitudinal fasciculus.

The posterior commissure interconnects the pretectal nuclei, mediating the consensual pupillary light reflex.

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This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.