Thalamus

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The thalamus is an ovoid mass of gray matter located in the posterior part of the forebrain. It relays sensory impulses to the cerebral cortex. The thalamus processes and relays sensory information selectively to different parts of the cerebral cortex, as one thalamic point may reach one or several regions in the cortex.

The thalamus is made up of neurons bodies and is situated lateral to the third ventricle that serves as the principal relay and integration station for the sensory systems in the body. Together with the hypothalamus, the thalamus establishes levels of sleep and wakefulness. It is also vital to the neural feedback system controlling brain wave rhythms.