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The pulvinar is the largest thalamic nucleus in primates and one of the most mysterious. Endeavors to understand its role in vision have focused on its abundant connections with the visual cortex. While its connectivity mapping in the cortex displays a broad topographic organization, its projections are also marked by considerable convergence and divergence. As a result, the pulvinar is often regarded as a central forebrain hub. Moreover, new evidence suggests that its comparatively modest input from structures such as the retina and superior colliculus may critically shape the functional organization of the visual cortex, particularly during early development. Here we review recent studies that cast fresh light on how the many convergent pathways through the pulvinar contribute to visual cognition.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.tics.2015.10.003

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trends Cogn Sci

Publication Date

02/2016

Volume

20

Pages

146 - 157

Keywords

human, primate, superior colliculus, thalamus, vision, visual cortex, Animals, Cognition, Humans, Neuronal Plasticity, Pulvinar, Visual Pathways, Visual Perception