Nonparametric statistical testing of EEG- and MEG-data.

  • Xing D
  • Yeh C
  • Shapley R
 et al. 
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Abstract

Thalamocortical circuits that govern cortical rhythms and ultimately
effect sensory transmission consist of three major interconnected
elements: excitatory thalamocortical and corticothalamic neurons
and GABAergic cells in the reticular thalamic nucleus. Based on the
present results, a fourth component has to be added to this scheme.
GABAergic fibres from an extrareticular diencephalic source were
found to selectively innervate relay cells located mainly in higher-order
thalamic nuclei. The origin of this pathway was localized to zona
incerta (ZI), known to receive collaterals from corticothalamic fibres.
First-order nuclei were innervated only in zones showing a high density
of calbindin-positive neurons. The large GABA-immunoreactive incertal
terminals established multiple contacts preferentially on the proximal
dendrites of relay cells via symmetrical synapses with multiple release
sites. The distribution, ultrastructural characteristics and postsynaptic
target selection of extrareticular terminals were similar to type
II muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-positive boutons, which constituted
up to 49% of all GABAergic terminals in the posterior nucleus. This
suggests that a significant proportion of the GABAergic input into
certain thalamic territories involved in higher-order functions may
have extrareticular origin. Unlike the reticular nucleus, ZI receives
peripheral and layer V cortical input but no thalamic feedback; it
projects to brainstem centres and has extensive intranuclear recurrent
collaterals. This indicates that ZI exerts a conceptually new type
of inhibitory control over the thalamus. The proximally situated,
multiple active zones of ZI terminals indicate a powerful influence
on the firing properties of thalamic neurons, which is conveyed to
multiple cortical areas via relay cells which have widespread projections
to neocortex.

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Authors

  • Dajun Xing

  • Chun-I. Yeh

  • Robert M Shapley

  • Andrzej Wróbel

  • Ewa Kublik

  • P Musial

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