S. Murray Sherman

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All thalamic relay cells exhibit two distinct response modes--tonic and burst--that reflect the status of a voltage-dependent, intrinsic membrane conductance. Both response modes efficiently relay information to the cortex in behaving animals, but have markedly different consequences for information processing. The lateral geniculate nucleus, which is the(More)
The thalamus has long been seen as responsible for relaying information on the way to the cerebral cortex, but it has not been until the last decade or so that the functional nature of this relay has attracted significant attention. Whereas earlier views tended to relegate thalamic function to a simple, machine-like relay process, recent research, reviewed(More)
The lateral geniculate nucleus is the best understood thalamic relay and serves as a model for all thalamic relays. Only 5-10% of the input to geniculate relay cells derives from the retina, which is the driving input. The rest is modulatory and derives from local inhibitory inputs, descending inputs from layer 6 of the visual cortex, and ascending inputs(More)
When one nerve cell acts on another, its postsynaptic effect can vary greatly. In sensory systems, inputs from "drivers" can be differentiated from those of "modulators." The driver can be identified as the transmitter of receptive field properties; the modulator can be identified as altering the probability of certain aspects of that transmission. Where(More)
1. Thalamic relay cells, including those of the lateral geniculate nucleus, display a low-threshold spike (LT spike), which is a large depolarization due to an increased Ca2+ conductance. Typically riding the crest of each LT spike is a burst of from two to seven action potentials, which we refer to as the LT burst. The LT spike is voltage dependent,(More)
Encoding of visual information by LGN bursts. Thalamic relay cells respond to visual stimuli either in burst mode, as a result of activation of a low-threshold Ca2+ conductance, or in tonic mode, when this conductance is inactive. We investigated the role of these two response modes for the encoding of the time course of dynamic visual stimuli, based on(More)
All neocortical areas receive thalamic inputs. Some thalamocortical pathways relay information from ascending pathways (first order thalamic relays) and others relay information from other cortical areas (higher order thalamic relays), thus serving a role in corticocortical communication. Most, possibly all, afferents reaching thalamus, ascending and(More)
It is now well appreciated that parallel retino-geniculo-cortical pathways exist in the monkey as in the cat, the species in which parallel visual pathways were first and most thoroughly documented. What remains unclear is precisely how many separate pathways pass through the parvo- and magnocellular divisions of the macaque lateral geniculate nucleus(More)
Relay cells of the lateral geniculate nucleus, like those of other thalamic nuclei, manifest two distinct response modes, and these represent two very different forms of relay of information to cortex. When relatively hyperpolarized, these relay cells respond with a low threshold Ca2+ spike that triggers a brief burst of conventional action potentials.(More)
Thalamic relay cells fire in two distinct modes, burst or tonic, and the operative mode is dictated by the inactivation state of low-threshold, voltage-gated, transient (or T-type) Ca2+ channels. Tonic firing is seen when the T channels are inactivated via membrane depolarization, and burst firing is seen when the T channels are activated from a(More)