AskDefine | Define decussate

Dictionary Definition

decussate adj : crossed or intersected in the form of an X [syn: intersectant, intersecting] v : cross or intersect so as to form a cross; "this nerve decussates the other"; "the fibers decussate"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. X-like.


  1. To form an X or to cross or intersect.

Extensive Definition

Decussation is used in biological contexts to describe a crossing.
Examples include:
  • In the brain, where nerve fibers cross from one lateral part to the other.
  • In phyllotaxis when an opposite pattern of leaves has successive leaf pairs that are perpendicular, it is called decussate.

In the brain

Examples in the brain include:
Here, a decussation refers to the crossing of millions of axons. To achieve this, there needs to be a tight control in order to have as few errors as possible. The advantage of having such a complicated system may be to compensate for the 180 degree inversion in visual perception through the eye. In addition, it may provide a more robust structure.


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