Paraventricular Thalamus as A Major Thalamic Structure for Wake Control
The thalamus is the gate of the cerebral cortex, the ultimate target for the neural networks controlling behavioral states and cognitive functions. According to the reticular theory initially proposed by Moruzzi and Magoun, excitatory inputs from large reticular zones of the brainstem via widespread intra- and extra-thalamocortical systems finally activate the cerebral cortex to cause generalized cortical activation and wakefulness . This theory proposes a central relay role to the thalamus for cortical activation as supported by early studies using neurodegeneration techniques and by the elegant work of Steriade’s group and other investigators illustrating the electrophysiological mechanisms of the thalamocortical system at the cellular level during wakefulness, rapid eye-movement sleep (REMs) and non-REM sleep (NREMs) . Yet, more selective lesion studies conducted between 1960 and the 2000s by many research teams have questioned the importance of the thalamus because these...
This highlight was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81471347, 81771426, and 31500853) and by the Talent-Introducing Project of State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of China (X2017008).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.