thalamus

noun
thal·​a·​mus | \ ˈtha-lə-məs How to pronounce thalamus (audio) \
plural thalami\ ˈtha-​lə-​ˌmī How to pronounce thalamus (audio) , -​ˌmē \

Definition of thalamus

: the largest subdivision of the diencephalon that consists chiefly of an ovoid mass of nuclei in each lateral wall of the third ventricle and serves chiefly to relay impulses and especially sensory impulses to and from the cerebral cortex — see brain illustration

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Other Words from thalamus

thalamic \ thə-​ˈla-​mik How to pronounce thalamus (audio) \ adjective

Examples of thalamus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In humans, this ventral pathway begins in the eyes and proceeds to the lateral geniculate nucleus in the thalamus, a sort of relay station for sensory information. Quanta Magazine, "Deep Neural Networks Help to Explain Living Brains," 28 Oct. 2020 Boes was working with a patient who had a rare disorder called peduncular hallucinosis, in which damage to the thalamus, a structure at the center of the brain, causes visual hallucinations. Grace Huckins, Wired, "A Radical New Model of the Brain Illuminates Its Wiring," 17 Aug. 2020 Five primate electrophysiologists agreed that, upon 50 Hz stimulation of the central lateral thalamus, anesthetized Wisconsin monkeys become wakeful. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, "Findings," 27 Apr. 2020 He was drawn to a thin layer of inhibitory neurons called the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN), which wraps around the rest of the thalamus like a shell. Quanta Magazine, "To Pay Attention, the Brain Uses Filters, Not a Spotlight," 24 Sep. 2019 Connections between the spinal cord and the thalamus, facilitating pain perception in both fetuses and adults, are present at 20 weeks’ gestation. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "Our Laws Protect Animals but Not Human Beings," 25 Feb. 2020 The team suspected that two brain regions were involved: the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT), which drives behavior, and the prelimbic cortex, which is involved in reward learning. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "Scientists Spot Addiction-Associated Circuit in Rats," 23 Dec. 2019 If the mouse needed to prioritize auditory information, the prefrontal cortex told the visual TRN to increase its activity to suppress the visual thalamus — stripping away irrelevant visual data. Quanta Magazine, "To Pay Attention, the Brain Uses Filters, Not a Spotlight," 24 Sep. 2019 And that consciousness is known to be linked to the activity of structures such as the brain stem and thalamus. San Diego Union-Tribune, "In creating so-called mini-brains, how close to a real human brain is too close?," 4 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thalamus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of thalamus

1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thalamus

New Latin, from Greek thalamos chamber

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Time Traveler for thalamus

Time Traveler

The first known use of thalamus was in 1859

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Cite this Entry

“Thalamus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thalamus. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for thalamus

thalamus

noun
thal·​a·​mus | \ ˈthal-ə-məs How to pronounce thalamus (audio) \
plural thalami\ -​ˌmī How to pronounce thalamus (audio) , -​ˌmē How to pronounce thalamus (audio) \

Medical Definition of thalamus

: the largest subdivision of the diencephalon that consists chiefly of an ovoid mass of nuclei in each lateral wall of the third ventricle and serves to relay impulses and especially sensory impulses to and from the cerebral cortex

More from Merriam-Webster on thalamus

Nglish: Translation of thalamus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about thalamus

Comments on thalamus

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