(also known as the precommissure) is a bundle of nerve fibers (white matter), connecting the two cerebral hemispheres across the midline, and placed in front of the columns of the fornix. The great majority of fibers connecting the two hemispheres travel through the corpus callosum, which is over 10 times larger than the anterior commissure, and other routes of communication pass through the hippocampal commissure or, indirectly, via subcortical connections. Nevertheless, the anterior commissure is a significant pathway that can be clearly distinguished in the brains of all mammals. The anterior commissure plays a key role in pain and pain sensation, more specifically sharp, acute pain. It also contains decussating fibers from the olfactory tracts, vital for the sense of smell and chemoreception. The anterior commissure works with the posterior commissure to link the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain and also interconnects the amygdalas and temporal lobes, contributing to the role of memory, emotion, speech and hearing. It also is involved in olfaction, instinct, and sexual behavior.
In a sagittal section, the anterior commissure is oval in shape, having a long vertical axis that measures about 5 mm.