Sensory information enters the cerebrum through the primary relay nuclei of the dorsal thalamus. For example, retinal ganglion cells synapse in the dLGN (dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus).
Similarly, inputs from the somatosensory system synapse in VPM and VPL (inputs from the head synapse in the ventral posteriomedial nucleus, while inputs from the body synapse in the ventral posteriolateral nucleus).
The primary relay nuclei of the dorsal thalamus include
- Anterior nucelus – receives input from the mammillothalamic tract and hippocampus.
- VA – Ventral Anterior nucleus, receives input primarily from basal ganglia.
- VL – Ventral Lateral nucleus, receives inputs from cerebellum.
- LD – Lateral Dorsal nucleus, receives inpupt from the hippocampus.
- VPL – Ventral Posteriolateral nucleus, relay nucleus for somatosensory information from the body.
- VPM – Ventral Posteriomedial nucleus, relay nucleus for somatosensory information from the head.
- LGN – Lateral Geniculate nucleus, relay nucleus for visual information.
- MGNv – ventral Medial Geniculate nucleus, relay nucleus for auditory information.