Activation by Attention of the Human Reticular Formation and Thalamic Intralaminar Nuclei

  title={Activation by Attention of the Human Reticular Formation and Thalamic Intralaminar Nuclei},
  author={Shigeo Kinomura and Jonas Larsson and Bal{\'a}zs Guly{\'a}s and Per E. Roland},
  pages={512 - 515}
It has been known for over 45 years that electrical stimulation of the midbrain reticular formation and of the thalamic intralaminar nuclei of the brain alerts animals. However, lesions of these sectors fail to impair arousal and vigilance in some cases, making the role of the ascending activating reticular system controversial. Here, a positron emission tomographic study showed activation of the midbrain reticular formation and of thalamic intralaminar nuclei when human participants went from… 
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  • J. Smythies
  • Biology, Psychology
    Consciousness and Cognition
  • 1997
The conclusion is reached that the brain may work by largely nonlinear parallel processing and much intramodal shifts of attention may be effected by intracortical, or multiple corticothalamic mechanisms (small local "flashlights" rather than one major "searchlight").
The Thalamic Intralaminar Nuclei: A Role in Visual Awareness
The anatomy, cellular physiology, and clinical data suggest that in the state of wakefulness, the ILN neurons promote the formation of an “event-holding” function in the cortex that facilitates the storage of target location in working memory.
Arousal--Revisiting the Reticular Activating System
In his Perspective, Steriade traces the history of this field and discusses the significance of these results, which show how signals from this area, the midbrain reticular formation, change the physiology of the cortex, the part of the brain that governs higher functions.
Rostral Intralaminar Thalamus Engagement in Cognition and Behavior
Evidence supporting a role for the thalamic rostral intralaminar nuclei in integrating arousal, executive and motor feedback information is reviewed and it is proposed that such a function enables the rILN to modulate cognitive and motor resources to meet task-dependent behavioral engagement demands.
Patterns of connections between zona incerta and brainstem in rats
To understand better the organisation of zona incerta of the thalamus, this study has examined the patterns of connections that this nucleus has with various nuclei of the brainstem. Injections of
Visual attention in the rat: a role for the prelimbic cortex and thalamic nuclei?
The behavioral effects of lesions of the prelimbic cortex, mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus, and anterior thalamic nuclei were investigated in 2 attentional tasks in rats and suggest that different aspects of attention may be attributable to the PL and the MD and that the mechanisms underlying inhibitory control of behavior may be attributed to functionally different thalamocortical circuits.
Consciousness: its neurobiology and the major classes of impairment.


Brain stem reticular formation and activation of the EEG.
Effects of chronic lesions in central cephalic brain stem of monkeys.
The evidence suggests that this activating system is of particular importance in initiating and maintaining an alert or attentive state in the animal, rendering it capable of reacting adaptively to stimuli in a way impossible in sleep.
Preparation for reaching: a PET study of the participating structures in the human brain.
No activations were seen in the motor cortices, indicating that reaching is a task which does not require substantial preparatory activity of motor cortice prior to the go signal.
Behavioral and EEG changes following chronic brain stem lesions in the cat.
Discharge rate and excitability of cortically projecting intralaminar thalamic neurons during waking and sleep states
  • L. Glenn, M. Steriade
  • Biology
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • 1982
The features of cortically projecting intralaminar neurons that relay MRF activity fit in well with their hypothesized role in the tonic activation processes that characterize both W and D states as compared to S sleep, and several lines of evidence suggest that sustained hyperpolarization prevails in intralamar neurons during S sleep.