Thalamocortical synapses: Sparse but stentorian

Zador, A. (1999) Thalamocortical synapses: Sparse but stentorian. Neuron, 23 (2). pp. 198-200.

DOI: 10.1016/S0896-6273(00)80770-9


Nearly all of the sensory information that enters the cortex passes through the thalamus, and the most important thalamocortical (TC) projection is onto spiny neurons in layer 4. These TC synapses thus represent the main conduit through which information from the periphery flows into the cortex for further processing. One might imagine that this conduit would be correspondingly wide, but in fact it is remarkably narrow, comprising only about a tenth of all synapses onto a typical neuron in layer 4. The vigorous and rapid responses of layer 4 neurons to sensory stimulation indicate that TC inputs nevertheless exert a powerful influence, leading to speculation that TC inputs are proportionately more powerful than intracortical (IC) inputs. This prediction was confirmed by Stratford and colleagues (1996), who reported that the TC connection was on average more than twice as strong as its IC counterpart. Now, a study by Gil, Connors, and Amitai 1999( [this issue of Neuron]) takes these observations one step further by probing the mechanism underlying this extra strength.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > cerebral cortex
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > sub-cellular tissues: types and functions > synapse
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > thalamus
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Zador lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 1999
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2014 16:22
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2014 16:22
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