The thalamus is more than just a relay.

Bibliographic Collection: 
MOCA Reference, APE
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Sherman, S Murray
Year of Publication: 2007
Journal: Curr Opin Neurobiol
Volume: 17
Issue: 4
Pagination: 417-22
Date Published: 2007 Aug
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 0959-4388
Keywords: Animals, Humans, Neural Networks (Computer), Neural Pathways, Sensation, Thalamus

The lateral geniculate nucleus and pulvinar are examples of two different types of relay: the former is a first order relay, transmitting information from a subcortical source (retina), while the latter is mostly a higher order relay, transmitting information from layer 5 of one cortical area to another cortical area. First and higher order thalamic relays can also be recognized for much of the rest of thalamus, and most of thalamus seems to be comprised of higher order relays. Higher order relays seem especially important to general corticocortical communication, and this challenges and extends the conventional view that such communication is based on direct corticocortical connections.

DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2007.07.003
Alternate Journal: Curr. Opin. Neurobiol.