The red nucleus located in the tegmentum of the mesencephalon is connected with the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum, brain stem nuclei, and the spinal cord. In the primate red nucleus, two subdivisions can be distinguished, i.e., the parvocellular and the magnocellular part. The crossed rubrobulbar and rubrospinal tract terminating on interneurons in the brain stem and spinal cord originates in the magnocellular part. The parvocellular part gives rise to the ipsilateral inferior olive (ten Donkelaar 1988; Massion 1967). In the adult human brain, the parvocellular part and its central tegmental tract are prominently developed, whereas the magnocellular part and its rubrospinal tract appear rudimentary in comparison to nonprimate brains.
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