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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2021 May 03

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.21.05327-3


lingua: Inglese

Superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) I and II: an anatomical and functional review

Francesco VERGANI 1 , Prajwal GHIMIRE 1, Devika RAJASHEKAR 1, Flavio DELL'ACQUA 2, Jose P. LAVRADOR 1

1 Department of Neurosurgery, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK; 2 Department of Neuroimaging, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IOPPN), King’s College London, London, UK


In this review, we summarise the current knowledge regarding the Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus (SLF) I and II. These fibres represent a longitudinal association tract between the parietal and frontal lobes of the brain. We highlight the anatomical representation of the SLF I and II in the primate and in the human brain. The fibres of the SLF I extend from the superior parietal lobule and precuneus, running anteriorly to reach the superior frontal gyrus and the supplementary motor area. The anatomy of the SLF I is debated in the literature, with some Authors questioning the existence of the SLF I as an individual tract. The SLF II is located inferiorly and laterally compared to the SLF I. The fibres of the SLF II extend from the inferior parietal lobule to the middle frontal gyrus. The putative functions of these tracts are reviewed, with particular regards to intraoperative findings and their relevance in applied neurosurgery. Considered together, the two tracts link associative parietal areas with premotor and supplementary motor frontal areas. The two tracts seem therefore involved in supporting the integration of sensory information and motor planning, finalised to visuospatial attention and complex motor behaviour. Finally, we discuss future directions for further study of these fibre tracts, highlighting the need for more detailed anatomical study of the SLF I and additional intraoperative tests that have been suggested to explore the function of these tracts during surgery.

KEY WORDS: Superior longitudinal fasciculus; Arcuate fasciculus; Associative fibre tracts; Human and primate anatomy

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