Diseases

Thalamus

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Of the thalamus or Sehhügel is a core area of ​​the Zwischenhirns. He is the collection point for all sensory impressions with the exception of the sense of smell, which are switched here on the way to the cerebral cortex - so all impressions of seeing, hearing, feeling and the sensation of temperature and pain. The thalamus is therefore also called the "gate to consciousness". Read all about the thalamus: Function, anatomy and important disorders!

ArtikelübersichtThalamus

  • What is the thalamus?
  • What is the function of the thalamus?
  • Where is the thalamus?
  • What problems can the thalamus cause?

What is the thalamus?

The thalamus forms the posterior surface of the diencephalon. It consists of gray and white matter, the gray matter being divided by thin sheets of white matter into numerous nuclei (accumulations of nerve cell bodies) - the thalamic nuclei.

The thalamus has an anterior pole toward the caudate nucleus (one of the basal ganglia), where the anterior nucleus of the thalamus (anterior nucleus nucleus) lies. The rear pole points down the back and forms the pad (Pulvinar thalami). On the lateral side of the pulvinar is an elevation, lateral geniculate body (lateral knee bumps), and below the anterior edge of the corpus geniculatum mediale (the middle knee).

The lateral surfaces of the thalamus border on the internal capsule. This is the inner capsule of the brain, an area of ​​white matter where projection fibers run up and down from the cerebral cortex to the bridge, medulla oblongata, and spinal cord. The anterior surface is fused with the hypothalamus.

The thalamus has a lateral and front radiating thalamic radiation (Radiationes thalamicae). This is also called staff of the thalamus and consists of double-stranded fiber tracts through which the thalamus is connected to the cerebral cortex.

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What is the function of the thalamus?

The thalamus is the gateway to consciousness. It acts as a filter and distributor of incoming information. Here it is decided which sensory impressions from the environment and the organism should penetrate into the consciousness and which are then also forwarded to the appropriate processing centers. All sensory impressions of feeling, seeing and hearing - but not of smell - are transmitted through the thalamus.

The thalamus nuclei in turn accommodate smaller nuclei and areas with different functions. In the middle and posterior core groups of the thalamic nuclei, all somatosensory and sensory pathways (with the exception of the olfactory tracts), which come from the periphery and migrate to the cerebral cortex, are switched over. All connections are double-barreled with the corresponding bark fields. Through concentrated attention, it becomes possible to perceive various sensory impressions to varying degrees: strong, low or almost non-existent.

Visual and auditory impressions are switched in nuclei of the metathalamus (lateral geniculate and medial) on their way to the visual cortex and auditory cortex.

The excitation of the anterior core groups of the thalamic nuclei does not take place (like those of the middle and posterior ones) over the periphery, but via the pallidum (a main ganglion), the cerebellum, and the midbrain. These thalamic nuclei communicate with the motor and premotor bark and can influence the movement process.

Affective and instinctual excitement, emotional sensations are switched in the thalamic nuclei and passed on to the corresponding bark areas.

Taste information is brought together via the taste kernel and transmitted via the thalamus to the taste bark.

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