Inferior longitudinal fasciculus

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Inferior longitudinal fasciculus
Sobo 1909 671 - Inferior longitudinal fasciculus.png
Medial surface of right cerebral hemisphere. Some of major association tracts are depicted. Inferior longitudinal fasciculus labeled at bottom right, in red.
Inferior Longitudinal Fasciculus.jpg
Tractography showing inferior longitudinal fasciculus
Latinfasciculus longitudinalis inferior cerebri
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The inferior longitudinal fasciculus is traditionally considered one of the major occipitotemporal association tracts. It connects the anterior temporal lobe and the extrastriate cortex of the occipital lobe, running along the lateral and inferior wall of the lateral ventricle.

The existence of this fasciculus and its anatomical description[1][2] have been the subject of several mutually conflicting studies. Some authors denied its existence because of the unclear results obtained in non-human brains.[3][4]

Using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), several authors have confirmed the presence of this constant longitudinal pathway in humans.[5][6][7][8][9]

Some other studies of the ILF[10][11][12][13] based on Klingler's dissection method (a type of white matter blunt dissection, providing reliable data on the anatomy of major fibre bundles[14] and, in some cases, additional tractography[13][15] not only confirmed the classical descriptions of the direct connection between occipital and temporal regions but also sought to detail the subcomponents of this association tract.

Four branches were consistently identified: a fusiform branch connecting the fusiform gyrus to the anterior temporal regions; a dorsolateral occipital branch connecting the superior, middle and inferior occipital gyri to the anterior temporal regions; a lingual branch connecting the lingual gyrus to the anterior part of the middle temporal gyrus; and a minor cuneal branch connecting the cuneus to the anterior mesial temporal gyri.[13][15]

Functions of the ILF[edit]

Summarising studies from healthy individuals, intraoperative and lesional findings, this white matter bundle seems involved in a wide range of brain conditions, including psychopathological, neurodevelopmental and neurological diseases. Among these diseases and syndromes are i.e. associative visual agnosia,[16] prosopagnosia,[17][18] visual amnesia,[19] visual hypo-emotionality;[20][21][22][23] but also some forms of autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia and alexia.[24][25][26]

ILF supports brain functions concerning the visual modality, including object, face and place processing, reading, lexical and semantic processing, emotion processing, and visual memory. Based on these recent findings ILF can be described as a multi-functional white matter pathway involved in visually guided behavior (See Herbet et al for review[27]).


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  25. ^ Epelbaum, S., Pinel, P., Gaillard, R., Delmaire, C., Perrin, M., Dupont, S., Dehaene, S., Cohen, L., 2008. Pure alexia as a disconnection syndrome: new diffusion imaging evidence for an old concept. Cortex. Sep;44(8):962-74. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2008.05.003
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External links[edit]

  • Atlas image: n1a5p6 at the University of Michigan Health System - "Dissection of the Left Hemisphere"