Coronal Section through the Human Thalamus
The thalamus is an excellent place to begin an investigation of the cellular mechanisms of state-dependent activity in the forebrain.
The thalamus consists of two important structures: the thalamocortical relay nuclei and the thalamic reticular nucleus. The thalamic reticular nucleus is a collection of GABAergic neurons that form a shell surrounding the dorsal and lateral aspects of the thalamus. The axons of thalamocortical and corticothalamic cells pass through the thalamic reticular nucleus and innervate these cells through axon collaterals.