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J Neurophysiol. 2009 Mar;101(3):1123-5. doi: 10.1152/jn.91369.2008. Epub 2009 Jan 14.

Intrathalamic mechanisms of visual attention.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. jpm49@pitt.edu

Abstract

The classical model of visual processing emphasizes the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) as the major intermediary between the retina and visual cortex. Yet, anatomical findings inspired Francis Crick to suggest an alternative model in which the thalamic reticular nucleus, which envelops the LGN, acts as the "guardian" of visual cortex by modulating LGN activity. Recent work by McAlonan and colleagues supports Crick's hypothesis, thereby enhancing our understanding of the early stages of visual processing.

PMID:
19144737
PMCID:
PMC2666404
DOI:
10.1152/jn.91369.2008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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