Thalamus Anatomy and Connectomics


Day 1 30 October 2023
8:50 a.m.–9.00 a.m. Welcome remarks - Klaus Scheffler
9.00 a.m.–9.40 a.m. TBA

Jürgen Mai  

Duesseldorf, Germany

9.40 a.m.–10:15 a.m. Thalamus drives active dendritic computations in cortex

Marcel Oberlaender 

Bonn, Germany

10:15 a.m.–10:40 a.m. Coffee Break
10.40 a.m.–11:20 p.m. TBA

Manoj Saranathan

Boston, USA

11:20 a.m.–11.50 a.m. TBA

Meritxell Bach Cuadra

11.50 a.m.–12:20 p.m. Thalamocortical dynamics during wake and sleep: insights from human intracranial recordings 

Tobias Staudigl

Munich, Germany

12:20 p.m.–13:20 p.m. Lunch
13:20 p.m.–14.00 p.m. TBA

Laura Busse

Munich, Germany

14:00 p.m.–14:40 p.m. Region specific cortical control of the thalamus - mice vs humans 

Acsády László

Budapest, Hungary

Abstract: The nature and role of top-down cortical control of thalamus is still an enigma. Here I demonstrate in mouse that the interaction between cortex and thalamus is qualitatively different in frontal compared to parietal areas. In order to explore to what extent these differences apply to humans we prepared a fine grained segmentation of human thalamus based on its excitatory afferents  and compare the synaptic organization of the homologous thalamic regions in the two species.

14:40 p.m.–15:10 p.m. Coffee Break
15:10 p.m.–15:40 p.m. A translational approach toward thalamus disconnection following ischemic stroke

Thomas Tourdias

Bordeaux, France

15.40 p.m.–16:10 p.m. Vulnerability of thalamic nuclei at CSF interface during the entire course of multiple sclerosis

Ismail Koubiyr

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

16.10 p.m.–17:00 p.m. TBA

Giulio Pergola

Baltimore, USA

17:00 p.m.–18:00 p.m. Discussions
19:00 Conference Dinner
Day 2 31 October, 2023

9.00 a.m.–9.45 a.m.

Feedforward and Feedback Interactions between Thalamus and Cortex for Vision

Martin Usrey


Abstract: The thalamus and cerebral cortex are interconnected by a dense network of feedforward and feedback circuits.  In the visual system, the response properties of neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus and primary visual cortex (V1) are governed by the anatomical organization of these connections and the temporal patterns of impulse arrival. Results will be presented from experiments using multielectrode recordings and optogenetic manipulation to examine the specificity of neuronal connections and the role of spike timing and behavioral modulation in the reciprocal exchange of information between the LGN and V1 in the alert macaque monkey. These results reveal a striking relationship between the parallel feedforward and feedback processing streams, as well as the biophysical properties that govern spike transfer and the encoding of visual information in neuronal spike trains.

9.45 a.m.–10.15 a.m. Exploring the impact of interthalamic adhesion on human cognition: insights from healthy subjects and patients with strokes to the thalamus 

Julie Vidal

Paris, France

Abstract: The interthalamic adhesion (IA), also known as the massa intermedia, is a structure that connects the median borders of both thalami across the third ventricle. It is absent in about 20% of healthy individuals, with a lower prevalence in males and some neurodevelopmental conditions, such as schizophrenia. Because it is difficult to identify on routine neuroimaging, its functional role, if any, remains debated. This study takes an original approach as we assess the possible role of the IA in cognition in a group of healthy subjects and a group of patients with lesions of the thalamus. We included 40 patients with isolated strokes to the thalamus and 45 matched healthy subjects, who underwent T1w and FLAIR MRI and a neuropsychological assessment. 75% of the whole population had an IA, with a higher presence among women (91%) than men (61%). There was no difference in the presence/absence of the IA between groups. The presence/absence of IA had no effect on the neuropsychological performance of healthy subjects. The patients without an IA were more impaired on verbal memory and language. This effect was not explained by age, laterality of the infarct, volume or localization of the lesion. The patients with lesions extending to the IA showed a similar trend, which could however be explained by concomitant lesions to the nearby mamillo-thalamic tract. In conclusion, the IA does not seem to play a major role in cognition in healthy subjects but could play a compensatory role following lesions to the thalamus, possibly in relation to its connectivity with the prefrontal cortex.

10:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m. Coffee Break
10.45 a.m.–11:05 a.m. Cortico-nuclear thalamic structural co-variation networks are related to familial risk for schizophrenia in the context of nuclei volume reduction in patients  via the ENIGMA Consortium 

Annalisa Lella

Bari, Italy

11.05 a.m.–11:25 a.m. The contribution of thalamic subdivisions in learning is linked to inter-individual variability in memory performance.

Roberta Passiatore 

Bari, Italy

11.25 a.m.–12.05 a.m. TBA

Petra Ritter

Berlin, Germany

12.05 p.m.–12.45 p.m. TBA

Birte Forstmann

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

12:45 p.m.–13:45 p.m. Lunch
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