Pulvinar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The pulvinar is the largest nucleus of the thalamus. Its lateral and inferior areas have rich connections with the visual- and dorsolateral parietal cortices. Several cells in the medial and upper area connect the anterior cingulum and the premotor and prefrontal association areas. This neuronal network was considered to organize the saccades and visual attention. Other cells in the medial nucleus have axonal connections with paralimbic-, insular and higher order association-cortices. The medial structure integrates complex sensory information with limbic reactivity settings, transmitting these to the temporal and parieto-occipital centres. The pulvinar is supplied by the posterior chorioideal artery. Visual salience is considered to be an important function of the pulvinar. Visual selection enables subjects to choose the actually adequate behavioral act. To serve the visual salience the pulvinar may also inhibit inappropriate eye movements. The pulvinar appears to be a key structure of the EEG's alpha rhythm generator, acting together with the parietooccipital and temporal cortices. Dynamic fluctuation of BOLD signals on fMRI correlates well with the change of alpha power even in resting state. We presume that the pulvinar is part of a closed cortico-subcortical circuit, analogous with the striatum, but the output of the pulvinar initiates complex behavioral reactions, including perception, selective attention and emotions. Damage of the pulvinar may elicit contralateral visual neglect, because of the dissociation of the neuronal network integrated by the superior temporal area. Increased activity of the pulvinar was found during abrupt reaction to fearful visual signals; and also in the etiopathology of endogenous depressions through the alteration of serotonin transporters. Increased bilateral signal intensity of the pulvinar on MRI was detected in cases of the new variants of Creutzfeldt-Jakob- and Fabry diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalNeuropsychopharmacologia Hungarica
Volume15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Alpha generator
  • Neural net
  • Pulvinar
  • Visual space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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