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Thalamus: Transmitting Information to the Brain

What is (meaning)

The thalamus is one of the regions of the diencephalon (the others are the hypothalamus and the pineal gland). It is an important nerve center located in the human brain.

The word has Greek origin, and thalamus means "room or indoor" in Greek.

Main Features:

- The thalamus is located in the deep central region of the human brain, above the hypothalamus.

- It consists of two neuronal masses.

- It has gray color and oval shape.

- It is organized into nuclei of neurons, with intercalated white matter tracts.

- Has links to the cerebral cortex.

Main Functions of the Thalamus

- Transmission of sensory impulses from the spinal cord, cerebellum, brainstem and other brain regions to the cerebral cortex.

- Plays an important role in cognition (attainment of knowledge) and consciousness.

- Helps in the regulation of autonomous activities.

Last reviewed: 01/02/2019

By Elaine Barbosa de Souza
Undergraduate student in Biological Sciences, Methodist University of São Paulo.