Research Topic

Thalamic Interactions with the Basal Ganglia: Thalamostriatal System and Beyond

About this Research Topic

Once regarded simply as a ‘relay station’ to the neocortex, the thalamus is now recognized as having a profound influence on the basal ganglia, a group of subcortical nuclei critical for action selection and learning. Previous research has largely focused on basal ganglia output to the thalamus and its reentrant pathway via the thalamostriatal system. The complex interplay between these subcortical brain networks has recently been unveiled through anatomical findings as a result of methodological and technological advances. Despite these findings which expand the field’s view and increase the understanding of the relationship between the thalamus and the basal ganglia, questions remain concerning their functional significance.

This Research Topic focuses on enhancing our insights on the role played by the thalamus in basal ganglia function underlying learned behaviors, as well as in dysfunction of basal ganglia origin, such as in neurodegenerative motor disorders or neuropsychiatric diseases. Along with furthering our understanding of the thalamostriatal system, we are interested in the investigation of non-traditional pathways by which the thalamus interacts with basal ganglia circuits in normal and diseased states. Findings from this Research Topic will further contribute to our knowledge of this timely question in systems neuroscience, ultimately providing a better understanding of new therapeutic approaches.

Use of circuit characterization and dissection methodologies is desired, such as molecular and cellular profiling, traditional and viral-based neuroanatomical tracing, chemogenetics, optogenetics, calcium imaging, in vitro, and in vivo electrophysiology, functional and resting-state magnetic resonance imaging, behavioral quantification, and computational modeling.

Original Research articles are encouraged, but other article types (Reviews, Mini Reviews, Opinion, Perspective, etc.) are also welcome.

Dr. G.D.R. Watson is working as Medical Science Liaison for the company LIVANOVA. Dr. J. B. Smith is working as Senior Scientist for the company REGENXBIO, Inc.
The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic.


Keywords: Thalamus, Basal Ganglia, Thalamostriatal System, Parkinson’s Disease, Striatum


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.

Once regarded simply as a ‘relay station’ to the neocortex, the thalamus is now recognized as having a profound influence on the basal ganglia, a group of subcortical nuclei critical for action selection and learning. Previous research has largely focused on basal ganglia output to the thalamus and its reentrant pathway via the thalamostriatal system. The complex interplay between these subcortical brain networks has recently been unveiled through anatomical findings as a result of methodological and technological advances. Despite these findings which expand the field’s view and increase the understanding of the relationship between the thalamus and the basal ganglia, questions remain concerning their functional significance.

This Research Topic focuses on enhancing our insights on the role played by the thalamus in basal ganglia function underlying learned behaviors, as well as in dysfunction of basal ganglia origin, such as in neurodegenerative motor disorders or neuropsychiatric diseases. Along with furthering our understanding of the thalamostriatal system, we are interested in the investigation of non-traditional pathways by which the thalamus interacts with basal ganglia circuits in normal and diseased states. Findings from this Research Topic will further contribute to our knowledge of this timely question in systems neuroscience, ultimately providing a better understanding of new therapeutic approaches.

Use of circuit characterization and dissection methodologies is desired, such as molecular and cellular profiling, traditional and viral-based neuroanatomical tracing, chemogenetics, optogenetics, calcium imaging, in vitro, and in vivo electrophysiology, functional and resting-state magnetic resonance imaging, behavioral quantification, and computational modeling.

Original Research articles are encouraged, but other article types (Reviews, Mini Reviews, Opinion, Perspective, etc.) are also welcome.

Dr. G.D.R. Watson is working as Medical Science Liaison for the company LIVANOVA. Dr. J. B. Smith is working as Senior Scientist for the company REGENXBIO, Inc.
The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic.


Keywords: Thalamus, Basal Ganglia, Thalamostriatal System, Parkinson’s Disease, Striatum


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

15 December 2020 Abstract
15 May 2021 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

15 December 2020 Abstract
15 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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