The primate pulvinar nuclei: vision and action

Trends Neurosci. 2000 Jan;23(1):35-9. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(99)01482-4.


The pulvinar nuclei of the thalamus are proportionately larger in higher mammals, particularly in primates, and account for a quarter of the total mass. Traditionally, these nuclei have been divided into oral (somatosensory), superior and inferior (both visual) and medial (visual, multi-sensory) divisions. With reciprocal connections to vast areas of cerebral cortex, and input from the colliculus and retina, they occupy an analogous position in the extra-striate visual system to the lateral geniculate nucleus in the primary visual pathway, but deal with higher-order visual and visuomotor transduction. With a renewed recent interest in this thalamic nuclear collection, and growth in our knowledge of the cortex with which it communicates, perhaps the time is right to look to new dimensions in the pulvinar code.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / ultrastructure
  • Primates / anatomy & histology
  • Primates / physiology*
  • Pulvinar / physiology*
  • Pulvinar / ultrastructure
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thalamic Nuclei / physiology
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*