A new thalamic pathway of vibrissal information modulated by the motor cortex.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Neurosci, Volume 27, Issue 45, p.12407-12 (2007)


Animals, Male, Motor Cortex, Neural Pathways, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Thalamus, Vibrissae


<p>Three ascending pathways of information processing have been identified so far in the vibrissal system of rodents. In the ventral posterior medial nucleus of the thalamus, two of these pathways convey information through the core and tail of barrel-associated structures, called barreloids. The other pathway transits through the posterior group nucleus. The present study provides anatomical and electrophysiological evidence for the existence of an additional pathway that passes through the head of the barreloids. This pathway arises from multiwhisker-responsive cells in the principal trigeminal nucleus and differs from the classic lemniscal pathway, in that constituent thalamic cells have multiwhisker receptive field and receive corticothalamic input from lamina 6 of the vibrissa motor cortex. It is suggested that this pathway might be involved in relaying signals encoding phase of whisker motion during free whisking.</p>

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