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Thalamocortical Networks 

Thalamocortical Networks
Chapter:
Thalamocortical Networks
Author(s):

David A. McCormick

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190636111.003.0009
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date: 19 May 2019

The thalamus and cerebral cortex are intimately linked through strong topographical connections, not only from the thalamus to the cortex, but also from the cortex back to the thalamus. As in many parts of the brain, the basic circuit of thalamocortical connectivity is relatively simple, although intracortical and corticocortical connectivity provides a high level of complexity. One of the basic operations of the thalamocortical network is the generation of rhythmic oscillations, which are now relatively well understood. In the normal brain, these thalamocortical oscillations typically occur during sleep, although their pathological counterparts may appear as seizures during sleep or waking. Unfortunately, the normal function of reciprocal thalamocortical connectivity during the waking state is still unknown. Even so, focused research is yielding insights into the properties of each of the cellular and synaptic components of these networks and how they interact to perform circuitwide operations.

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