Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Brain as a ToolA Neuroscientist's Account$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ray Guillery

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198806738

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198806738.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 April 2021

Defining the functional components of the thalamic gate

Defining the functional components of the thalamic gate

(p.119) Chapter 8 Defining the functional components of the thalamic gate
The Brain as a Tool

Ray Guillery

Oxford University Press

This chapter starts by summarizing the electron microscopic appearance of the retinogeniculate axons and their immediate environment. These form the functional components of the visual input to the thalamic gate. I then look at evidence that all major thalamic relay nuclei have a shared structure produced by a shared developmental and evolutionary origin. Each nucleus receives a small proportion of its synaptic inputs (<10%) for relay to the cortex; these are the drivers. Drivers are topographically organized with the topography representing body parts, sensory space, or parts of the brain. Some drivers come from sensory pathways or from subcortical regions of the brain, and these innervate first-order thalamic relays; another, major part of the thalamus receives its drivers from the cerebral cortex itself, and these form the higher-order relays to the cortex. These higher-order corticothalamic inputs are crucial for understanding cortical processing. A large proportion of synaptic inputs (>90%) are not relayed to the cortex and are classifiable as modulators. They contribute to controlling the gate. Some modulators match the topography of the drivers, thus relating to the parts of the body and the world; others do not show this specificity and have more global actions.

Keywords:   visual pathways, lateral geniculate nucleus, thalamic synapses, presynaptic dendrites, triadic synaptic junctions, relay cells, interneurons, corticothalamic axons, drivers, modulators

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .