Chapter

The Thalamus

Edward G. Jones

in Handbook of Brain Microcircuits

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195389883
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965137 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780195389883.003.0007
The Thalamus

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  • Development of the Nervous System

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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.

Chapter.  5456 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

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