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Anterior commissure

Recommended video: Medial view of the brain [38:16]
Structures seen on the medial view of the brain. The images show a midsagittal section of the brain.

The anterior commissure is a transversely oriented white matter fiber bundle which connects the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain concerned with the olfactory pathway. It also interconnects the amygdalas and temporal lobes of the brain.

The anterior commissure is located in the anterior wall of the third ventricle. It runs transversely anterior to the anterior columns of the fornix, above the basal forebrain and beneath the medial and ventral aspect of the anterior limb of the internal capsule.

The anterior commissure can be divided into anterior and posterior parts. The anterior bundle, also known as the olfactory part, extends through the anterior perforated substance towards the olfactory tubercles, while the posterior bundle (hemispheric part) curves posterolaterally and passes through a groove on the anteroinferior aspect of the globus pallidus. It then extends to reach the anterior part of the temporal lobe, parahippocampal gyrus and occipital lobe posteriorly. 

Through these connections the anterior commissure plays a key role in pain sensations, sense of smell and chemoreception, memory, emotion, speech and hearing and is also involved in olfaction, instinct, and sexual behavior.

Terminology English: Anterior commissure
Latin: Commissura anterior
Definition White matter tract that connects the two cerebral hemispheres along the midline
Parts Anterior part of anterior commissure (Olfactory part)
Posterior part of anterior commissure (Hemispheric part)
Function Connects structures of the olfactory pathway, amygdalas and temporal lobes

Take a closer look at the structures of a brain from a medial perspective in the study unit below. 

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