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(thăl`əməs), mass of nerve cells centrally located in the brainbrain,
the supervisory center of the nervous system in all vertebrates. It also serves as the site of emotions, memory, self-awareness, and thought. Anatomy and Function
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 just below the cerebrum and resembling a large egg in size and shape. The thalamus is a routing station for all incoming sensory impulses except those of smell, transmitting them to higher (cerebral) nerve centers. In addition, it connects various brain centers with others. Thus the thalamus is a major integrative complex, enabling sensory stimuli to evoke appropriate physical reactions as well as to affect emotions. With the hypothalamushypothalamus
, an important supervisory center in the brain, rich in ganglia, nerve fibers, and synaptic connections. It is composed of several sections called nuclei, each of which controls a specific function.
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, the thalamus establishes levels of sleep and wakefulness. It is also vital to the neural feedback system controlling brain wave rhythms.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a conglomerate of the nuclei of gray matter (nerve cells) in the brain, located between the mesencephalon and the cerebral cortex; it is the main part of the diencephalon.

The thalamus developed for the first time in bony fish. In ontogenesis it develops from the prosencephalon sac. The thalamus is a nucleus in which afferent nerve impulses coming from all the sense organs (except the olfactory organs) gather. Each type of sensory pathway has its own specific nuclei (lateral group) in which the impulses are transmitted from one nerve cell to another and are transferred to the appropriate zone of the cerebral cortex. Associative nonspecific nuclei (medial group) receive stimuli from specific nuclei of the thalamus and from nonspecific structures of the diencephalon, mesencephalon, and medulla oblongata and transmit them to various subcortical and cortical neurons. The thalamus is involved in primary analysis and synthesis of all stimuli entering the brain from the neuroreceptors. In lower vertebrate animals the thalamus ensures performance of all necessary reflexes; in mammals and man the higher center of integration is the cerebral cortex. Under the thalamus lies the hypothalamus.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Either one of two masses of gray matter located on the sides of the third ventricle and forming part of the lateral wall of that cavity.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

thalamus, thalamium

In early Greek architecture, an inner room or chamber, esp. the women’s apartment.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Nerve tracts connecting the spinal cord and thalamus are established by that time (Adama van Scheltema, et al, Fetal and Maternal Medicine Review, 2008)
Our analyses revealed statistically significant differences during right finger movement between groups in M1 and thalamus bilaterally and in the right striatum (Left M1: t(10)=-2.686, P = 0.023, right M1: t(10)=-4.014, P = 0.002; left thalamus: t(10)=-2.935, P = 0.015, right thalamus: t(10)=-2.495, P = 0.032; right striatum: t(10)=-3.337, P = 0.008).
We believe that there could be a possible collateral venous circulation to the right thalamus that causes the left thalamic infarction the more common presentation in setting of DCVT.
'Since we found out that only a few months of reading training can modify the thalamus fundamentally, we have to scrutinise this hypothesis,' Skeide said.
Exploring the predictive value of FCs for performance excellence, we associated the individual FC values between the thalamus and regions in the SMN with the best world ranking across the 30 subjects.
The thalamus and midbrain were quickly removed and homogenized in an extraction buffer containing 100 mM Tris, 10 mM EDTA, 2mM PMSF, and 10 #g/mL aprotinin at a pH of 7.4.
Subsequently, the derived frontal, thalamus, parietal, and hippocampal channels were used to analyze effective connectivity (EC) using Granger's Causality (GC), a form of multivariate vector autoregression model determining directed interregional coupling of a collection of time series, measured by one's dependence over the other [25, 26].
Dorsolateral frontal cortex (DlFC, 4.2 mm up to -1.32 mm from bregma), hippocampus, thalamus, and nucleus caudatus were homogenized with an electric homogenizer in lysis buffer [50 mM TrisHCl pH 7.4, 150 mM NaCl, 1% NP-40, 1 mM phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, and protease inhibitor cocktail] on ice for 30 min.
After fixation, brains were embedded in paraffin, and contiguous 5 [micro]m sections at the level of the frontal lobe and thalamus were cut on a microtome (Rm 2016, LEICA, Germany).
Brain MRI showed symmetric high-T2 signals in 100% of cerebral and cerebellar white matter, as well as brainstem, 46.7% of basal ganglia, and 53.3% of thalamus. There were two patterns of cerebral white matter involvements, one with selective subcortical U-fibers and the other with periventricular white matter.
With the use of a low-intensity, focused ultrasound pulsation, the team was able to excite neurons in in the thalamus, an egg-shaped structure in the center of the brain that is a central hub for information processing.