Thalamic Control of Visual Attention

Sabine Kastner, Yuri B. Saalmann, Keith A. Schneider

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses thalamocortical interactions, an understanding of which is central to understanding perception and cognition. The visual thalamus consists of three main nuclei: the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN), and the pulvinar. The LGN is the thalamic station in the retinocortical projection and has traditionally been viewed as the gateway to the visual cortex. The TRN forms a thin shell of neurons surrounding the thalamus and providing an interface between the thalamus and cortex in that thalamocortical and (layer 6) corticothalamic projections also have collateral branches to the TRN. The pulvinar is a large nucleus located in the dorsal thalamus. It contains several visual maps that are reciprocally connected to striate and extrastriate cortex, in addition to being substantially interconnected with frontal and parietal cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Neuroscience of Attention
Subtitle of host publicationAttentional Control and Selection
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199932283
ISBN (Print)9780195334364
StatePublished - May 24 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


  • Cognition
  • Lateral geniculate nucleus
  • Perception
  • Pulvinar
  • Thalamic reticular nucleus
  • Thalamocortical interactions
  • Visual thalamus


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