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The role of the thalamus in the human subcortical vestibular system

J Vestib Res. 2014 Jan 1;24(5):375-85. doi: 10.3233/VES-140534.

Authors/Editors: Conrad J, Baier B, Dieterich M.
Publication Date: 2014

2014_12_conrad


Abstract

Most of our knowledge concerning central vestibular pathways is derived from animal studies while evidence of the functional importance and localization of these pathways in humans is less well defined. The termination of these pathways at the thalamic level in humans is even less known. In this review we summarize the findings concerning the central subcortical vestibular pathways in humans and the role of these structures in the central vestibular system with regard to anatomical localization and function. Also, we review the role of the thalamus in the pathogenesis of higher order sensory deficits such as spatial neglect, pusher syndrome or thalamic astasia and the correlation of these phenomena with findings of a vestibular tone imbalance at the thalamic level. By highlighting thalamic structures involved in vestibular signal processing and relating the different nomenclatures we hope to provide a base for future studies on thalamic sensory signal processing.

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