2-Minute Neuroscience: The Thalamus


Welcome to 2 minute neuroscience, where I
simplistically explain neuroscience topics in 2 minutes or less. In this installment
I will discuss the thalamus. There is a thalamus in each cerebral hemisphere
just above the brainstem.The thalamus is often described as a relay station because a great
deal of the information that proceeds to the cerebral cortex first stops in the thalamus
before being sent on to its destination. The thalamus is subdivided into a number of nuclei
that possess functional specializations for dealing with particular types of information.
For example, all sensory information except olfaction travels directly from sensory receptors
to a nucleus in the thalamus specialized for dealing with that type of sensory data. Then,
the information is sent from the thalamus to the appropriate area of the cortex where
it is further processed. As many as 50 distinct nuclei have been identified
in the thalamus but I will discuss just a few of the better known nuclei in this video.
Each of these nuclei has multiple functions; I will only mention one or two of the best-known
functions here. At the anterior of the thalamus is a nucleus
called the anterior nucleus. It is extensively connected to the hippocampus and is thought
to be involved in memory. The dorsomedial nucleus is thought to be involved
in emotional behavior and memory. The ventral anterior nucleus and ventrolateral
nucleus are thought to be involved in motor functions. The ventral posterolateral nucleus, or VPL,
and the ventral posteromedial nucleus, or VPM, both act as relay nuclei for sending
somatosensory information to the somatosensory cortex. The lateral posterior nucleus is thought to
be involved with integrating sensory input and associating it with cognitive functions. The pulvinar nucleus is a large nucleus that
is involved in processing visual stimuli. The medial geniculate nucleus and lateral
geniculate nucleus serve as important relays for auditory and visual information, respectively. The reticular nucleus forms a sheet that makes
up the outer covering of the thalamus; it influences the activity of other nuclei within
the thalamus. There are also a number of nuclei not visible
in this image, such as the centromedian nucleus, which is thought to be involved in attention
and arousal.

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31 thoughts on “2-Minute Neuroscience: The Thalamus

  1. Thank you!! I would really appreciate if there could videos on autonomic nervous system, visual, auditory and vestibular systems too. 🙂

  2. The thalamus might act like a limbs-to-body-to-limbs spatial cordinates converter. Smell, of course, generally has no spatial coordinates, although some species are able to determine stereochemical direction.
    Vision, sound, infra-red, head touch and head pain would also need coordinates conversions.

  3. I don't think you explained it in an understandable language. You rushed for the 2 minutes and the information became unsuitable for beginners

  4. Hes says thought to be alot so not to sure huh the thalamus is the conversion of universal fields to the lymphatic nodes to determine a certain strength and salinity of salt and amino acids to develop different parts of the body,hence a north American whose diet mainly consists of seal meat and herbs is fit and healthy with strong bones etc yet doesn't consume calcium or other elements as such,alot of scientists dont even know that the first state of matter is universal field flow then its nano state and then solid so get it right.

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