thalamus consists of a large collection of relatively distinct
subdivisions or cellular clusters, or nuclei, all aggregated
deep within the telencephon. The thalamus contains nuclei
that receive sensory input from spinal and brainstem circuits.
It processes information from visual, auditory, somatic sensory,
taste, pain and thermal modalities. The thalamus makes numerous
interconnections with different areas of the neocortex as
well as with other nuclei of the telencephalon. It receives
most of its downstream inputs from a variety of neuronal clusters
lying in the medulla and brainstem. The thalamus relays and
translates streams of impulses arriving from all its inputs
and regulates and transmits processed information to different
layers of the cerebral cortex.
thalamus lies above the hypothalamus with which it makes some
connections. Both the thalamus and hypothalamus are symmetrically
mirrored on the two sides of the brain and the two nuclear
groupings of both regions abut along the midline. Some thalamic
nuclei may interconnect between homologous nuclei on the two
we display coronal sections stained for cell bodies. These
cross sections are arranged from front (rostral) to back (caudal).
The sequentially arranged sections are to be viewed as one
does in reading lines of text in a book.