Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Thalamic Gating

  • Melissa Lamar
  • David J. Libon
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1337


Filtering; Gating; Inhibition


The thalamic gating mechanism is part of a complex cortico-subcortical network that collates sensory information from the brain and then selectively filters information that is relayed to the frontal lobes.

Current Knowledge

Thalamic disruption is often used to explain impaired executive behavior. Across animal and human studies, the thalamus is thought to have a major regulatory role in the cortical synchronization of behavior via the basal ganglia (Benarroch 2008; Steriade and Pare 2007). Several researchers have speculated that the inhibitory actions of the basal ganglia serve as a selective gating mechanism that updates and directs operations that are then fed back to the frontal lobes through the thalamus (Beiser and Houk 1998; Frank et al. 2001). When these structures are damaged, the frontal lobes cannot effectively function to filter information for an appropriate response.


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References and Readings

  1. Beiser, D. G., & Houk, J. C. (1998). Model of cortical-basal ganglionic processing: Encoding the serial order of sensory events. Journal of Neurophysiology, 79(6), 3168–3188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benarroch, E. E. (2008). The midline and intralaminar thalamic nuclei: Anatomic and functional specificity and implications in neurologic disease. Neurology, 71(12), 944–949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Frank, M. J., Loughry, B., & O’Reilly, R. C. (2001). Interactions between frontal cortex and basal ganglia in working memory: A computational model. Cognitive and Affective Behavioural Neuroscience, 1(2), 137–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Steriade, M., & Pare, D. (2007). Gating cerebral networks. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa Lamar
    • 1
  • David J. Libon
    • 2
  1. 1.Rush Alzheimer’s Disease CenterChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and PsychologyRowan University, New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, School of Osteopathic MedicineStratfordUSA