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Kelly D. Flemming

and Eduardo E. Benarroch

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date: 01 October 2020

The diencephalon is composed of 4 components: 1) the epithalamus, which includes the pineal body; 2) the dorsal thalamus, which is commonly considered to be the thalamus proper; 3) the ventral thalamus, consisting of the reticular nucleus and subthalamic nucleus; and 4) the hypothalamus. This chapter focuses on the dorsal thalamus and the ventral thalamus. The thalamus has 3 main functions: 1) relay input from subcortical structures to the cortex, 2) control (gate) which sensory information reaches the cortex, and 3) synchronize cortical activity that relates to consciousness.

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