Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2012 Aug;22(4):575-9. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2012.03.005. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

Thalamocortical interactions.

Author information

Department of Neurobiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, United States.


Glutamatergic pathways dominate information processing in the brain, but these are not homogeneous. They include two distinct types: Class 1, which carries the main information for processing, and Class 2, which serves a modulatory role. Identifying the Class 1 inputs in a circuit can lead to a better understanding of its function. Also, identifying Class 1 inputs to a thalamic nucleus tells us its main function (e.g. the lateral geniculate nucleus, or LGN, is the relay of retinal Class 1 input), and such identification leads to a division of thalamic relays into first and higher order: the former receives Class 1 inputs from subcortical sources; the latter, from layer 5 of cortex, which it then relays to another cortical area. When a cortical area directly connects with another, it often has a parallel, transthalamic connection through these higher order relays. This leads to a novel appreciation of cortical functioning and raises many new questions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center