thalamus

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

Examples of thalamus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

According to a 2010 Current Biology journal, the thalamus produces sleep spindles (brain activity that refreshes memory) to aid sleep in noisy environments. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "The Tired Girl's Guide To Getting More Sleep & Having More Energy," 2 May 2012 Mice who had stem cells injected into their thalamus were healthier than average mice and lived 10% longer. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "How Scientists Will Beat Aging in Our Lifetimes," 4 Nov. 2017 In Dobbyn’s case, the target is a little area of tissue about the size of a pencil eraser deep in a brain region known as the thalamus. NBC News, "New ultrasound treatment stops essential tremors," 11 Feb. 2018 Connections between the spinal cord and the thalamus — which facilitate pain perception in both fetuses and adults — are present at 20 weeks’ gestation. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "The Senate Should Ban Abortions of Fetuses Who Can Feel Pain," 29 Jan. 2018 In the case of FFI, these proteins mostly home in on two locations within a central brain structure: the thalamus. Michael Nedelman, CNN, "A 'family curse': First insomnia, then death," 19 Sep. 2017 Previous studies have shown a connection between the structure and function of the thalamus and dyslexia. Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian, "Learning to Read May Reshape Adult Brains," 25 May 2017 Both the brain stem and the thalamus contribute to an individual’s ability to pay attention to different stimuli. Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian, "Learning to Read May Reshape Adult Brains," 25 May 2017 The thalamus is often described as the brain's switchboard, relaying signals from one region to the next. Michael Nedelman, CNN, "A 'family curse': First insomnia, then death," 19 Sep. 2017

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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Statistics for thalamus

Last Updated

23 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thalamus

The first known use of thalamus was in 1859

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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 thalami (audio) , -​ˌmē How to pronounce thalami (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

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