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DPT704: Neuro Hank > Diencephalon > Flashcards

Flashcards in Diencephalon Deck (37):

What is the largest portion of the diecephalon?



What makes up the thalamus?

complex group of nuclei


Where is the thalamus located?

interposed between the cortex and lower centers of the brainstem


What three major systems is the thalamus involved with?

Sensory, motor, and reticular formation.


Where sensory information does the thalamus receive and what does it do with this information?

Receives ascending sensory information form sensory pathways, processes this information and relays it to the cortex.


With what systems does thalamus interact with for motor information?

Intimately associated with the motor systems - in particular with the basal ganglia, cerebellum, and motor cortex.


How is the thalamus involved with the reticular formation?

It is a part of the reticular activating system.


What shape are the thalami, how many are there, and where are they located?

Two thalami which are egg shaped nuclear masses, one on each side of the third ventricle.


With with cortex do the thalami function with?

Function with respect to reciprocal connections with the ipsilateral cortex.


What are the fiber layers of the thalamus?

Internal and external medullary lamina


What are the nuclear subdivisions of the thalamus? (6)

1. Anterior Group
2. Medial Group
3. Lateral Group
4. Metathalamic Group
5. Intralaminar Group
6. Reticular Coat


What is the function of the Anterior Group nuclear subdivision of the thalamus?

related to the limbic system


What is the function of the Medial Group nuclear subdivision of the thalamus?

related to a number of systems, but primary access to prefrontal cortex.

Medial Group
-limbic, association cortex, basal ganglia

Dorsomedial Nuc.
-major one


What is the function of the Lateral Group nuclear subdivision of the thalamus?

relay nuclei for somatosensory and motor cortical areas

Dorsal Tier

Ventral Tier
-VPM, VPL, VL, VA (nuclei for relaying sensory and motor information


What is the function of the Metathalamic Group nuclear subdivision of the thalamus?

Lateral and Medial Geniculate Nucleus


What is the function of the Intralaminar Group nuclear subdivision of the thalamus?

Centromedian nucleus that is related to the reticular formation.


What is the function of the Reticular Coat nuclear subdivision of the thalamus?

Outermost shell of the thalamus (not a part of the reticular formation), acts as gating efferent thalamic information


What are subcotical afferents to thalamic nuclei?

sensory pathways, basal ganglia, cerebellum, reticular formation.


What are the 4 main functions of the thalamus?

1. Gates relay for transmission of all sensations (except olfaction) for conscious perception.

2. Chief integrating center of all sensory information.

3. Plays dominant role in maintenance and regulation of the state of consciousness, alertness and attention = awareness; area of affect-deals with emotion, pain, agreeablness; highly subjective.

4. Integrative center for motor activity - basal ganglia and cerebellum


What are the 3 functional groupings of thalamic nuclei?

1. Cortical Relay Nuclei
2. Assocation Nuclei
3. Nonspecific Nuclei


What is the function of Cortical Relay Nuclei? What do they receive and where do they project? What are they?

Receive highly ordered sensory and motor information

and then relay it in an accurate manner (maintaining topographic, tonotopic, visuotopic organization) to specific sensory and motor cortices.



What is the function of Association Nuclei? What do they receive and where do they project? What are they?

Receive little or no direct afferent from sensory/motor pathways, but have extensive interthalamic connections and receive afferents from other subcortical nuclei (limbic, etc.)

Project back to association cortices (mostly frontal, parietal and temporal lobes)

includes pulvinar, dorsomedial


What is the function of nonspecific nuclei?

intralaminar nuclei (centeromedian) associated with behavioral arousal and sensory/motor integration, sleep.

Reticular thalamic nucleus functions as inhibitory feedback regulator of thalamic neuronal activity-gating of sensory information.


Thalamic pain syndrome origin?

usually vascular in origin; thalamogeniculate artery.


What is lost with thalamic pain syndrome and what is the result?

loss of connections at the thalamic level or cortical level, pain sensations cannot be interpreted correctly.


With thalamic pain syndrome, what is the result of interpreting pain?

the ability to discriminate between an irritating stimulus vs. a painful one become blurred.


Clinically, what are the names for how thalamic pain syndrome is seen?

Hyperalgesia or Allodynia


Thalamic pain syndome results in what changes for stimulus threshold?

1. Elevated for tactile and position sense.

2. Lowered for nociceptive stimuli


What are two examples for Thalamic pain syndrome resulying in exaggerated and unpleasant at threshold?

Pin prick leads to severe burning pain.

Music leads to unpleasant responses.


The hypothalamus is responsible for primarily what? Ex?

homeostatic influences necessary for life.

ex. cardiorespiratory, thermoregulation, metabolic, water resoption, digestive activity.


What does the hypothalamus control or influence that allows it to control said systems and function?

pituitary gland, autonomic nervous system at the level of the brainstem and spinal cord.


Does the hypothalamus act in a reflexive or visceral manner?

reflexive manner receiving afferent visceral information.


What is the hypothalamus influenced by?

higher centers, primarily limbic system and prefrontal cortex.


What is the limbic system responsible for and how does it influencing the hypothalamus?

limbic is responsible for emotion, moods, and motivation

influences hypothalamus and thus autonomic nervous system effecting cardiovascular, respiratory, and emotional reactions to ongoing situations
-embarrassment, fear, anxiety


How are areas of the hypothalamus looked at in terms of functional areas?

Autonomic control areas (looked at as UMN of the ANS


How is the hypothalamus divided up?

Anterior Hypothalamus
Lateral Hypothalamus
Ventromedial Hypothalamus


Which part of the hypothalamus is related to septal region of limbic system?

anterior hypothalamus