Vibrissal thalamic modes

Scholarpedia J. 2010;5(7):7278. doi: 10.4249/scholarpedia.7278.

Abstract

A thalamic mode (or thalamocortical mode) refers to a particular arrangement of the response properties of the thalamocortical network that gives rise to a distinct input-output function. Since the thalamus controls the flow of information to the neocortex, a thalamic mode adjusts how thalamocortical cells relay sensory and corticothalamic information. Thalamic modes can change on a moment-to-moment basis due to the actions of neuromodulators and/or excitatory and inhibitory inputs. In the vibrissal system, thalamic modes lead to robust changes on how sensory information from the vibrissa is processed temporally, integrated spatially and relayed to the neocortex.