a thinking brain
rscanlon at nycap.rr.com
Thu Jul 1 14:25:26 EST 2004
Some pertinent data:
Certain nuclei of the thalamus are more important to us than others.
The ventral anterior-ventral lateral nuclei pass motor programs from
the basal ganglia and the cerebellum to the pre-motor and motor
cortex. The motor programs are fictive coming in and actual going out.
The ventral posterior nucleus (the ventrobasal complex) passes signal
energy to the somatosensory cortex.
The lateral geniculate body passes signal energy from the eyes to the
The medial geniculate body passes signal information from the ears to
the auditory cortex.
It is the fashion to call these sensory relays. It is far more
important to note their function of NOT relaying when inhibited.
The reticular nucleus surrounds the thalamus like a shield and
practically all the fibers interconnecting the cortex and the thalamus
both ways. These fibers establish synaptic contact en passage with
neurons in the reticular nucleus. The output of the reticular nucleus
is inhibitory and can halt fictive motor programs on their way to the
motor cortex and sensory information on its way to the sensory cortex.
Talk of nuclei is only shorthand for the neurons that comprise the
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