The Cognitive Thalamus – Superb ebook available for download from Frontiers

Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience did a superb special issue on the cognitive functions of the thalamus recently. It was edited by Yuri B Saalmann and Sabine Kastner.

It is also now available as a very handsome ebook.

Here’s the summary:

Cognitive processing is commonly conceptualized as being restricted to the cerebral cortex. Accordingly, electrophysiology, neuroimaging and lesion studies involving human and animal subjects have almost exclusively focused on defining roles for cerebral cortical areas in cognition. Roles for the thalamus in cognition have been largely ignored despite the fact that the extensive connectivity between the thalamus and cerebral cortex gives rise to a closely coupled thalamo-cortical system. However, in recent years, growing interest in the thalamus as much more than a passive sensory structure, as well as methodological advances such as high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging of the thalamus and improved electrode targeting to subregions of thalamic nuclei using electrical stimulation and diffusion tensor imaging, have fostered research into thalamic contributions to cognition. Evidence suggests that behavioral context modulates processing in primary sensory, or first-order, thalamic nuclei (for example, the lateral geniculate and ventral posterior nuclei), allowing attentional filtering of incoming sensory information at an early stage of brain processing. Behavioral context appears to more strongly influence higher-order thalamic nuclei (for example, the pulvinar and mediodorsal nucleus), which receive major input from the cortex rather than the sensory periphery. Such higher-order thalamic nuclei have been shown to regulate information transmission in frontal and higher-order sensory cortex according to cognitive demands. This Research Topic aims to bring together neuroscientists who study different parts of the thalamus, particularly thalamic nuclei other than the primary sensory relays, and highlight the thalamic contributions to attention, memory, reward processing, decision-making, and language. By doing so, an emphasis is also placed on neural mechanisms common to many, if not all, of these cognitive operations, such as thalamo-cortical interactions and modulatory influences from sources in the brainstem and basal ganglia. The overall view that emerges is that the thalamus is a vital node in brain networks supporting cognition.

And the table of contents:

05 The cognitive thalamus: Yuri B. Saalmann and Sabine Kastner
07 A role of the human thalamus in predicting the perceptual consequences
of eye movements: Florian Ostendorf, Daniela Liebermann and Christoph J. Ploner
19 Cognitive control of movement via the cerebellar-recipient thalamus
Vincent Prevosto and Marc A. Sommer
27 Functional roles of the thalamus for language capacities: Fabian Klostermann, Lea K. Krugel and Felicitas Ehlen
35 Neural signal for counteracting pre-action bias in the centromedian
thalamic nucleus: Takafumi Minamimoto, Yukiko Hori, Ko Yamanaka and Minoru Kimura
46 The role of the anterior, mediodorsal, and parafascicular thalamus in
instrumental conditioning: Laura A. Bradfield, Genevra Hart and Bernard W. Balleine
61 The anterior thalamus provides a subcortical circuit supporting memory and spatial navigation: Maciej M. Jankowski, Kim C. Ronnqvist, Marian Tsanov, Seralynne D. Vann, Nicholas F. Wright Jonathan T. Erichsen, John P. Aggleton and Shane M. O’Mara
73 ABL1 in thalamus is associated with safety but not fear learning: Mouna R. Habib, Dan A. Ganea, Ira K. Katz and Raphael Lamprecht
81 What does the mediodorsal thalamus do?: Anna S. Mitchell and Subhojit Chakraborty
100 Mediodorsal thalamus and cognition in non-human primates: Mark G. Baxter
105 Thalamic mediodorsal nucleus and its participation in spatial working memory
processes: comparison with the prefrontal cortex: Shintaro Funahashi
118 Intralaminar and medial thalamic influence on cortical synchrony, information
transmission and cognition: Yuri B. Saalmann

So – go ahead and download the very handsome ebook!

Author: Shane O'Mara

Neuroscientist

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