Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

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

Pulvinar

  • Stephen CorreiaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1390

Structure

The pulvinar (“cushion”) is a large nucleus that forms the posterior and dorsolateral portion of the thalamus bilaterally (Fig. 1). This thalamic nucleus is involved in behavioral orientation toward relevant stimuli, particularly directing visual attention (i.e., saccadic eye movement) toward visual stimuli (Blumenfeld 2002). The pulvinars lie posterior, medial, and dorsal to the lateral geniculate nucleus and partially “cover” the superior colliculus, and it surrounds the brachium of the superior colliculus, which connects the superior colliculus with the lateral geniculate body and optic track. The pulvinar is proportionally larger in higher mammals, particularly primates in which it occupies approximately two-fifths of the total volume of the thalamus. Most of what is known about the pulvinar has been learned from studies on cats and nonhuman primates, particularly macaques and rhesus monkeys. Much about the detailed anatomy and structure of the pulvinar remains unclear.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Arcaro, M. J., Pinsk, M. A., & Kastner, S. (2015). The anatomical and functional organization of the human visual pulvinar. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(27), 9848–9871.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arend, I., Machado, L., Ward, R., McGrath, M., Ro, T., & Rafal, R. D. (2008). The role of the human pulvinar in visual attention and action: Evidence from temporal-order judgment, saccade decision, and antisaccade tasks. Progress in Brain Research, 171, 475–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bender, D. B. (1982). Receptive-field properties of neurons in the macaque inferior pulvinar. Journal of Neurophysiology, 48(1), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bender, D. B. (1988). Electrophysiological and behavioral experiments on the primate pulvinar. Progress in Brain Research, 75, 55–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Benevento, L. A., & Port, J. D. (1995). Single neurons with both form/color differential responses and saccade-related responses in the nonretinotopic pulvinar of the behaving macaque monkey. Visual Neuroscience, 12(3), 523–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blumenfeld, H. (2002). Neuroanatomy through clinical cases. Sunderland: Sinauer Associates.Google Scholar
  7. Carpenter, M. (1991). Core text of neuroanatomy (4th ed.). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  8. Danziger, S., Ward, R., Owen, V., & Rafal, R. (2004). Contributions of the human pulvinar to linking vision and action. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 4(1), 89–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fischer, J., & Whitney, D. (2009). Precise discrimination of object position in the human pulvinar. Human Brain Mapping, 30(1), 101–111.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Gopalakrishnan, B., Ashraf, V. V., Kumar, P., & Kiran, K. (2014). Reversible “pulvinar sign” in Wernicke’s encephalopathy. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, 17(2), 222–224.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Grieve, K. L., Acuna, C., & Cudeiro, J. (2000). The primate pulvinar nuclei: Vision and action. Trends in Neurosciences, 23(1), 35–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hernandez-Lain, A., Hedley-Whyte, E. T., Hariri, L. P., Molyneaux, B., Nagle, K. J., Cole, A. J., & Kilbride, R. (2013). Pathology of bilateral pulvinar degeneration following long duration status epilepticus. Seizure., 22(2013), 901–904.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Leh, S. E., Chakravarty, M. M., & Ptito, A. (2008). The connectivity of the human pulvinar: A diffusion tensor imaging tractography study. International Journal of Biomedical Imaging, 2008, 789539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Olshausen, B. A., Anderson, C. H., & Van Essen, D. C. (1993). A neurobiological model of visual attention and invariant pattern recognition based on dynamic routing of information. Journal of Neuroscience, 13(11), 4700–4719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pessoa, L., & Adolphs, R. (2010). Emotion processing and the amygdala: From a ‘low road’ to ‘many roads’ of evaluating biological significance. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11(11), 773–783.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Petersen, S. E., Robinson, D. L., & Morris, J. D. (1987). Contributions of the pulvinar to visual spatial attention. Neuropsychologia, 25(1A), 97–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Robinson, D. L. (1993). Functional contributions of the primate pulvinar. Progress in Brain Research, 95, 371–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Robinson, D. L., & Cowie, R. J. (1997). The primate pulvinar: Structural, functional, and behavioral components of visual salience. In M. E. A. Steriade (Ed.), Thalamus (Vol. 2, pp. 53–92). Philadelphia: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  19. Rockland, K. S. (1996). Two types of corticopulvinar terminations: Round (type 2) and elongate (type 1). Journal of Comparative Neurology, 368(1), 57–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rosini, F., Cerase, A., Pretegiani, E., Lucii, G., Federighi, P., Federico, A., & Rufa, A. (2013). Neurological Sciences, 34, 1867–1869.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sherman, S. M. (2005). Thalamic relays and cortical functioning. Progress in Brain Research, 149, 107–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shipp, S. (2003). The functional logic of cortico-pulvinar connections. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Science, 358(1438), 1605–1624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Shipp, S. (2004). The brain circuitry of attention. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8(5), 223–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ward, R., & Arend, I. (2007). An object-based frame of reference within the human pulvinar. Brain, 130(Pt 9), 2462–2469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ward, R., & Danziger, S. (2004). Selective attention and response control following damage to the human pulvinar. In G. W. Humphreys & M. J. Riddoch (Eds.), Attention in action (Vol. 1 (part 3), pp. 325–350). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  26. Ward, R., Calder, A. J., Parker, M., & Arend, I. (2007). Emotion recognition following human pulvinar damage. Neuropsychologia, 45(8), 1973–1978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zeidler, M., Sellar, R. J., Collie, D. A., Knight, R., Stewart, G., Macleod, M. A., et al. (2000). The pulvinar sign on magnetic resonance imaging in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Lancet, 355(9213), 1412–1418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zhou, H., Schafer, R., & Desimine, R. (2016). Pulvinar-cortex interactions in vision and attention. Neuron, 89(1), 209–220.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorAlpert Medical School, Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA