Lateral dorsal nucleus of thalamus

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Lateral dorsal nucleus of thalamus
Thalamic nuclei
Latin nucleus dorsalis lateralis
NeuroNames 326
TA A14.1.08.608
FMA 62176
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The lateral dorsal nucleus is a nucleus of the thalamus. It is the most anterior of the dorsal lateral nuclei. [1]

Thalamus part of diencephalon, which is in turn part of prosencephalon (forebrain)

The thalamus is a large mass of gray matter in the dorsal part of the diencephalon of the brain with several functions such as relaying of sensory signals, including motor signals to the cerebral cortex, and the regulation of consciousness, sleep, and alertness.

It acts in concert with the anterior nuclei of thalamus.

Anterior nuclei of thalamus

The anterior nuclei of thalamus are a collection of nuclei at the rostral end of the dorsal thalamus. They comprise the anteromedial, anterodorsal, and anteroventral nuclei.

It receives significant input from several subdivisions of visual cortex, and has a primary output to parietal cortex on the dorsolateral cortical convexity, giving it access to limbic forebrain nuclei important for emotion and behavior functions.

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Internal capsule

The internal capsule is a white matter structure situated in the inferomedial part of each cerebral hemisphere of the brain. It carries information past the basal ganglia, separating the caudate nucleus and the thalamus from the putamen and the globus pallidus. The internal capsule contains both ascending and descending axons, going to and coming from the cerebral cortex. It also separates the caudate nucleus and the putamen in the dorsal striatum, a brain region involved in motor and reward pathways.

Spinothalamic tract

The spinothalamic tract is a sensory pathway from the skin to the thalamus. From the ventral posterolateral nucleus in the thalamus, sensory information is relayed upward to the somatosensory cortex of the postcentral gyrus.

Dorsal column–medial lemniscus pathway

The dorsal column–medial lemniscus pathway (DCML) is a sensory pathway of the central nervous system that conveys sensations of fine touch, vibration, two-point discrimination, and proprioception (position) from the skin and joints. It transmits information from the body to the primary somatosensory cortex in the postcentral gyrus of the parietal lobe of the brain. The pathway receives information from sensory receptors throughout the body, and carries this in nerve tracts in the white matter of the dorsal columns of the spinal cord, to the medulla where it is continued in the medial lemniscus, on to the thalamus and relayed from there through the internal capsule and transmitted to the somatosensory cortex. The name dorsal-column medial lemniscus comes from the two structures that carry the sensory information: the dorsal columns of the spinal cord, and the medial lemniscus in the brainstem.

The pretectal area, or pretectum, is a midbrain structure composed of seven nuclei and comprises part of the subcortical visual system. Through reciprocal bilateral projections from the retina, it is involved primarily in mediating behavioral responses to acute changes in ambient light such as the pupillary light reflex, the optokinetic reflex, and temporary changes to the circadian rhythm. In addition to the pretectum's role in the visual system, the anterior pretectal nucleus has been found to mediate somatosensory and nociceptive information.

Thalamic reticular nucleus

The thalamic reticular nucleus is part of the ventral thalamus that forms a capsule around the thalamus laterally. However, recent evidence from mice and fish question this statement and define it as dorsal thalamic structure. It is separated from the thalamus by the external medullary lamina. Reticular cells are GABAergic, and have discoid dendritic arbors in the plane of the nucleus.

Dentate nucleus

The dentate nucleus is a cluster of neurons, or nerve cells, in the central nervous system that has a dentate – tooth-like or serrated – edge. It is located within the deep white matter of each cerebellar hemisphere, and it is the largest single structure linking the cerebellum to the rest of the brain. It is the largest and most lateral, or farthest from the midline, of the four pairs of deep cerebellar nuclei, the others being the fastigial nucleus and the globose and emboliform nuclei which together are referred to as the interposed nucleus. The dentate nucleus is responsible for the planning, initiation and control of voluntary movements. The dorsal region of the dentate nucleus contains output channels involved in motor function, which is the movement of skeletal muscle, while the ventral region contains output channels involved in nonmotor function, such as conscious thought and visuospatial function.

Septal nuclei

The septal nuclei are a set of structures that lie below the rostrum of the corpus callosum, anterior to the lamina terminalis. The septal nuclei are composed of medium-size neurons which are classified into medial, lateral, and posterior groups. The septal nuclei receive reciprocal connections from the olfactory bulb, hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus, midbrain, habenula, cingulate gyrus, and thalamus.

Tegmentum part of the brain stem

The tegmentum is a general area within the brainstem. The tegmentum is the ventral part of the midbrain and the tectum is the dorsal part of the midbrain. It is located between the ventricular system and distinctive basal or ventral structures at each level. It forms the floor of the midbrain (mesencephalon) whereas the tectum forms the ceiling. It is a multisynaptic network of neurons that is involved in many subconscious homeostatic and reflexive pathways. It is a motor center that relays inhibitory signals to the thalamus and basal nuclei preventing unwanted body movement. The tegmentum area includes various different structures, such as the "rostral (=frontal/cranial/oral) end of the reticular formation, several nuclei controlling eye movements, the periaqueductal gray matter, the red nucleus, the substantia nigra, and the ventral tegmental area".

Lateral vestibular nucleus

The lateral vestibular nucleus is the continuation upward and lateralward of the principal nucleus, and in it terminate many of the ascending branches of the vestibular nerve.

The amygdalofugal pathway is one of the three major efferent pathways of the amygdala, meaning that it is one of the three principal pathways by which fibers leave the amygdala. It leads from the basolateral nucleus and central nucleus of the amygdala. The amygdala is a limbic structure in the medial temporal lobe of the brain. The other main efferent pathways from the amygdala are the stria terminalis and anterior commissure.

The mammillothalamic tract arises from cells in both the medial and lateral nuclei of the mammillary body and by fibers that are directly continued from the fornix.

Medial dorsal nucleus

The medial dorsal nucleus is a large nucleus in the thalamus.

The isothalamus is a division used by some researchers in describing the thalamus.

Stria medullaris of thalamus

The stria medullaris is a part of the epithalamus. It is a fiber bundle containing afferent fibers from the septal nuclei, lateral preoptico-hypothalamic region, and anterior thalamic nuclei to the habenula. It forms a horizontal ridge on the medial surface of the thalamus, and is found on the border between dorsal and medial surfaces of thalamus. Superior and lateral to habenular trigone.

Ventral lateral nucleus

The ventral lateral nucleus (VL) is a nucleus in the ventral nuclear group of the thalamus.

Lateral pulvinar nucleus

Lateral pulvinar nucleus is one of four traditionally anatomically distinguished nuclei of the pulvinar of the thalamus. The other three nuclei of the pulvinar are called anterior, inferior and medial pulvinar nuclei.


  1. Standring, Susan. Gray's anatomy: the anatomical basis of clinical practice (41 ed.). Elsevier Limited. pp. 350–363. ISBN   978-0-7020-5230-9.