Research Topic

Role of the Thalamus in Motivated Behavior

About this Research Topic

Growing evidence from both human and rodent studies has implicated distinct thalamic nuclei in mediating motivated behaviors. These findings suggest that the thalamus, beyond serving as an information relaying center, also integrates and processes information within the cortico-striatal-thalamo-cortical circuit to guide behaviors such as reward-seeking under both physiological (e.g., food-seeking) and pathological conditions (e.g., drug of abuse).

The goal of this Research Topic is to highlight the specific roles of distinct thalamic nuclei (e.g., paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus, the anterior intralaminar nucleus of the thalamus, mediodorsal thalamus, and parafascicular/centromedian nucleus) in a variety of motivated behaviors in both humans and other animal species.
We welcome Original Research articles tackling the theme with a range of technical approaches, investigating the thalamus at the molecular, synaptic, circuit and behavioral levels.
We also welcome Review, Mini-Review, Perspective, and Opinion articles.

We are particularly interested in investigating the role of the thalamus by addressing the following subtopics :

• Reinforcement learning, memory, and decision-making
• Various stages of the ‘addiction cycle’ (e.g., drug use, withdrawal, relapse) and across different drugs of abuse
• Homeostatic and ‘pathological’ feeding
• Response inhibition
• Incentive salience attribution


Keywords: cortico-striatal-thalamo-cortical circuit, motivated behaviors, thalamic nuclei, thalamostriatal circuit, learning, memory, decision-making, addiction


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Growing evidence from both human and rodent studies has implicated distinct thalamic nuclei in mediating motivated behaviors. These findings suggest that the thalamus, beyond serving as an information relaying center, also integrates and processes information within the cortico-striatal-thalamo-cortical circuit to guide behaviors such as reward-seeking under both physiological (e.g., food-seeking) and pathological conditions (e.g., drug of abuse).

The goal of this Research Topic is to highlight the specific roles of distinct thalamic nuclei (e.g., paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus, the anterior intralaminar nucleus of the thalamus, mediodorsal thalamus, and parafascicular/centromedian nucleus) in a variety of motivated behaviors in both humans and other animal species.
We welcome Original Research articles tackling the theme with a range of technical approaches, investigating the thalamus at the molecular, synaptic, circuit and behavioral levels.
We also welcome Review, Mini-Review, Perspective, and Opinion articles.

We are particularly interested in investigating the role of the thalamus by addressing the following subtopics :

• Reinforcement learning, memory, and decision-making
• Various stages of the ‘addiction cycle’ (e.g., drug use, withdrawal, relapse) and across different drugs of abuse
• Homeostatic and ‘pathological’ feeding
• Response inhibition
• Incentive salience attribution


Keywords: cortico-striatal-thalamo-cortical circuit, motivated behaviors, thalamic nuclei, thalamostriatal circuit, learning, memory, decision-making, addiction


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Abstract
30 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Abstract
30 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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