The mesocortical pathway is a neural pathway that connects the ventral tegmentum to the cortex, particularly the frontal lobes. It is one of the four major dopamine pathways in the brain.
Additional recommended knowledge
It is essential to the normal cognitive function of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (part of the frontal lobe), and is thought to be involved in motivation and emotional response.
This pathway is thought to be associated with the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, which include avolition, alogia and flat affect (lack of emotional response).
This pathway is closely associated with the mesolimbic pathway, also known as the reward pathway.
Other major dopamine pathways include:
|Brain: telencephalon (cerebrum, cerebral cortex, cerebral hemispheres)|
|Primary sulci/fissures||Medial longitudinal, Lateral, Central, Parietoöccipital, Calcarine, Cingulate, Callosal Collateral fissure|
|Frontal lobe||Precentral gyrus (Primary motor cortex, 4), Precentral sulcus, Superior frontal gyrus/Frontal eye fields (6, 8, 9), Middle frontal gyrus (46), Inferior frontal gyrus (44-Pars opercularis, 45-Pars triangularis), Orbitofrontal cortex (10, 11, 12, 47)|
|Parietal lobe||Somatosensory cortex (Primary (1, 2, 3, 43), Secondary (5)), Precuneus (7m), Parietal lobules (Arcuate fasciculus/Superior (7l), Inferior (40)), Angular gyrus (39), Intraparietal sulcus, Marginal sulcus|
|Occipital lobe||Primary visual cortex (17), Cuneus, Lingual gyrus, 18, 19 - Lateral occipital sulcus|
|Temporal lobe||Primary auditory cortex (41, 42), Superior temporal gyrus (38, 22), Middle temporal gyrus (21), Inferior temporal gyrus (20), Fusiform gyrus (37) Medial temporal lobe (Amygdala, Hippocampus, Parahippocampal gyrus (27, 28, 34, 35, 36)|
|Cingulate cortex/gyrus||Subgenual area (25), anterior cingulate (24, 32, 33), Posterior cingulate (23, 31), Retrosplenial cortex (26, 29, 30), Supracallosal gyrus|
|white matter tracts||Corpus callosum (Splenium, Genu, Rostrum, Tapetum), Septum pellucidum, Internal capsule, Corona radiata, External capsule, Olfactory tract, Fornix (Commissure of fornix), Anterior commissure, Posterior commissure Terminal stria Superior and Inferior longitudinal fasciculus, uncinate fasciculus, cingulum, Inferior occipitofrontal fasciculus|
|Basal ganglia||Striatum (Putamen,Caudate nucleus, Nucleus accumbens), Globus pallidus, Claustrum, Subthalamic nucleus, Substantia nigra|
|Other||Insular cortex Olfactory bulb, Anterior olfactory nucleus Septal nuclei Basal optic nucleus of Meynert|
|Some categorizations are approximations, and some Brodmann areas span gyri.|