While you are sitting at your computer reading this, spare a thought for your thalamus. This tiny part of your brain, which is about the size of a walnut, processes all the millions of messages which reach your consciousness.

So, almost everything we are aware of in ourselves and in the outside world has come through this coordinating centre of your brain.

The same is true for mammals, although the size and structure varies with species.

Whilst the thalamus has been studied over many decades, there is still a lot left to be found out about it.

The thalamus has a deeply collaborative relationship with the cerebral cortex, which is the furrowed outer layer of gray matter in the cerebrum of the brain, associated with the higher brain functions, as voluntary movement, coordination of sensory information, learning and memory, and the expression of individuality.

Within its complex functioning, the thalamus has specialised messages for visual, auditory, somatic messages etc.

Exploring The Thalamus, by S. Murray Sherman and R. W. Guillery,
2001, Academic Press, San Diego, CA, USA.

© David R. Durham

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