Thalamostriate Projections — An Overview

  • A. Jayaraman
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 27)


The thalamus provides a major source of afferents to the striatum with a density second only to the corticostriatal projections (Graybiel and Ragsdale, 1979). Among the different thalamic nuclei, the nonspecific intralaminar nuclei provide the majority of the thalamic afferents to the striatum (Jones and Leavitt, 1974). The intralaminar nuclear complex has diffuse but significant reciprocal connections with the cerebral cortex (see Macchi and Bentivoglio, 1982 for review). Stimulation of the intralaminar nuclei elicits recruiting and augmenting responses in the cerebral cortex, and they have been suggested to play a role in arousal and attentional mechanisms (Jasper, 1961). Hassler (1982) proposed that conscious perception requires the simultaneous activation of the same cortical sensory or integrative field by the non-specific intralaminar nuclei and by the specific thalamic projections. While such theories may suggest a role of the cortical projections of the intralaminar nuclei, it is ironic that the major target of the intralaminar nuclei is the striatum and not the cerebral cortex and that as yet we do not have a testable hypothesis for the role of the thalamostriate projections.


Caudate Nucleus Thalamic Nucleus Axon Collateral Medial Dorsal Anterior Thalamic Nucleus 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Jayaraman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyLouisiana State University, School of MedicineNew OrleansUSA

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