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Functional Connections of Cortical AreasA New View from the Thalamus$
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S. Murray Sherman and Rainer W. Guillery

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019309

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019309.001.0001

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First and Higher Order Thalamic Relays

First and Higher Order Thalamic Relays

(p.119) 5 First and Higher Order Thalamic Relays
Functional Connections of Cortical Areas

S. Murray Sherman

R. W. Guillery

The MIT Press

As was noted in the previous chapter, Class 1 inputs help to define a main function of a thalamic relay because they identify the driver inputs that carry the message that is sent to cortex. For example, the lateral geniculate nucleus is a relay of retinal messages, and the ventral posterior nucleus is a relay of messages from the medial lemniscus and spinothalamic tract. This chapter reviews the evidence for the identification of higher order relays and their proposed role as participating in corticocortical processing has many crucial ramifications. The chapter concludes that the recognition of the distinction between first and higher order thalamic relays has great significance for the understanding of cortical functions. This can be seen from several different perspectives.

Keywords:   Class 1 inputs, thalamic rely, driver inputs, cortext, lateral geniculate nucleus, relay of messages, higher order relays

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