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The Brain as a ToolA Neuroscientist's Account$
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Ray Guillery

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198806738

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198806738.001.0001

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Thalamic higher-order driver inputs as sensorimotor links

Thalamic higher-order driver inputs as sensorimotor links

Chapter:
(p.140) Chapter 9 Thalamic higher-order driver inputs as sensorimotor links
Source:
The Brain as a Tool
Author(s):

Ray Guillery

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198806738.003.0009

This chapter provides a closer look at the branching patterns of driver inputs to higher-order thalamic nuclei, and introduces their functional significance for discussion in later chapters. Their thalamic branches bring information for relay to higher cortical levels, including a copy of the information carried in the motor branches about anticipated cortical contributions to the control of actions and consequent changes in perceptions. In this way, the cortex can add to the control of an action when there is a mismatch between action and perception. Most of these branched axons that have so far been described come from early sensory areas and only a few from other, higher areas have been studied. These branching inputs are a part of the hierarchy of cortical areas that provide an opportunity for higher areas to monitor lower areas and, when needed, contribute to the motor control of the phylogenetically older brainstem and spinal centres. A far more extensive review of the branched thalamic driver inputs and their contributions to the control of actions than we have at present will be crucial for understanding the full complexity of the thalamic relay.

Keywords:   corticothalamocortical links, cortical monitors, branching thalamic inputs, Romberg’s test, perceptions, anticipated actions

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