Thalamic Networks for Relay and Modulation

Edited by

  • D. Minciacchi
  • M. Molinari
  • G. Macchi, Institute of Neurology, Laboratory of Experimental Neurology, Catholic University, Rome, Italy
  • E. Jones, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92717, USA

This volume provides a snapshot of contemporary findings and ideas concerning the neural basis of thalamic relay and modulatory behavior. Thalamic research is a multi-disciplinary field which has witnessed a profound change of emphasis in the last five years. In most recent investigations, prominence has been given to the roles of intrinsic neuronal properties and of extrinsic modulatory influences from various cortical and subcortical sources in determining the efficacy of the thalamus as a relay during changes from slow wave sleep or drowsy inattentiveness to one of sharp alertness. Recognition that the thalamus is capable of operating both in relay mode and in oscillatory or state dependent mode is now so well entrenched that it is difficult to credit that the second of these two modes of operation had, for a long time, almost ceased to be of topical interest. This book reflects this renewed interest in the modulation of thalamic relay activity by intrinsic and extrinsic sources, while wishing to underscore the essential role of the thalamus as the gatekeeper of the cerebral cortex and of the pathways to perception. Since their anatomical and physiological substrates are the same, neither of the two modes of thalamic operation can be studied in isolation. However, because each of the chapters in this book tends to highlight one or other of the two functional roles, they have been collated with this in mind. Thus, the first three parts of the book bring together the most recent studies of relay functions: Part I is basically concerned with developmental and evolutionary approaches; Part II highlights relay functions of visual, motor and somatosensory relay nuclei and relay functions of the intralaminar nuclei; Part III deals primarily with the pharmacology of thalamic neurons. The last part emphasis the mechanisms that underlie the functional assembly of thalamic cells into collectively acting ensembles, largely revealed in rhythmic oscillations, and the behavioral manifestations that accompany them.
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For experimental and clinical neuroscientists, neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuropsychiatrists.


Book information

  • Published: December 1993
  • Imprint: PERGAMON
  • ISBN: 978-0-08-042274-9

Table of Contents

Section headings and selected papers. Evolution and Development. Parallel pathways and fiber size (I.T. Diamond). Thalamocortical-corticothalamic reciprocals and the evolutionary origin of medial geniculate (S.B. Frost, R.B. Masterton). Thalamus as a Relay. Sensory Systems. Dynamic gating of retinal transmission to the visual cortex by the lateral geniculate nucleus (S.M. Sherman). Parallel streams in the corticogeniculate pathway: intrinsic and extrinsic projections of neurons in layer VI of striate cortex (W.M. Usrey, D. Fitzpatrick). Parallel somatic sensory pathways through the rat thalamus (M.E. Diamond). Motor System. Input-output organization of the ventrolateral nucleus of the thalamus in the cerebello-thalamo-cortical system (Y. Shinoda et al.). Intralaminar System. The intralaminar system revisited (G. Macchi). Structural evidence in favour of a relay function for the anterior intralaminar nuclei (M. Molinari et al.). Different weights of subcortico-cortical projections upon primary sensory areas: the thalamic anterior intralaminar system (D. Minciacchi et al.). Chemical Identities of Thalamic Neurons. Cell-specific expression of a multifunctional protein kinase in primate thalamic relay neurons (E.G. Jones). Interspecies comparison of expression of GABA/benzodiazepine receptors and their subunits in the motor and limbic nuclei of the thalamus (K. Kultas-Ilinsky et al.). Networks for Modulation. Reticular Nucleus. Specific distribution of some "nonspecific" afferents upon individual thalamic reticular nucleus neurons (C. Asanuma). Thalamic Oscillations and Sleep. Cellular basis and neurotransmitter control of thalamic oscillation and sensory transmission (D.A. McCormick et al.). Intrinsic low-frequency oscillations of thalamocortical cells and their modulation by synaptic potentials (V. Crunelli et al.). Sleep oscillations in interacting thalamocortical networks (M. Steriade, D. Contreras).

38 halftones, 60 line drawings, 5 colour plates