Glossary term:

Spinothalamic tract

As different types of sensory signals enter the spinal cord, from the peripheral nerves, they take different routes on their way up to the brain. The two main pathways are the dorsal columns, which convey light-touch and joint position senses, and the spinothalamic tracts, which conduct pain and temperature sensations. The dorsal columns run along the back of the spinal cord; the spinothalamic tracts lie on its sides, more towards the front.