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The Thalamus 

The Thalamus
Chapter:
The Thalamus
Author(s):

Edward G. Jones

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780195389883.003.0007
Page of

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date: 20 October 2018

The thalamus of mammals is composed of three fundamental entities, distinguished by different developmental histories and connections. The epithalamus, consisting of the habenular and paraventricular nuclei, is mainly connected with the hypothalamus and is not considered here. The dorsal thalamus is the large cell mass, divided into multiple nuclei, through which information from the sense organs, the motor systems, and other intrinsic brain sources is relayed to the cerebral cortex and basal ganglia. The ventral thalamus covers the anterior, lateral, and ventral aspects of the dorsal thalamus and is composed of the ventral lateral geniculate nucleus, reticular nucleus, zona incerta, and field of Forel. This chapter discusses thalamic relay neurons, intrinsic interneurons, neurons of the reticular nucleus, afferent fibers, microcircuitry of a relay nucleus, synaptic chemistry, and network activities in the thalamocortical system.

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