Corticothalamic feedback and sensory processing

Henry J. Alitto, William Martin Usrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Although nearly half of the synaptic input to neurons in the dorsal thalamus comes from the cerebral cortex, the role of corticothalamic projections in sensory processing remains elusive. Although sensory afferents certainly establish the basic receptive field properties of thalamic neurons, increasing evidence indicates that feedback from the cortex plays a crucial role in shaping thalamic responses. Here, we review recent work on the corticothalamic pathways associated with the visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that sensory responses of thalamic neurons result from dynamic interactions between feedforward and feedback pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-445
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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