The thalamus is richly interconnected with the cerebral cortex as well as with a large variety of subcortical structures. With recent technical advances, our understanding of the diverse circuits in the thalamus and their contribution to brain function and dysfunction are evolving rapidly. It is becoming increasingly clear that the thalamus is much more than the main information channel to the cortex from the sense organs. It processes signals essential for sensory perception, initiation of complex actions, and higher-order cognitive functions. Furthermore, it serves as a critical integrative hub in brain-wide networks, dynamically interacting with the cortex, and linking cortical and subcortical circuits. Thalamic dysfunction can result in various neurological disorders such as epilepsy, pain and sleep disorders with devastating consequences for individuals and society.
The 2022 Thalamocortical GRC will serve as an important venue to illuminate the diverse roles of thalamic circuits, to elucidate their anatomical and functional architecture and to disseminate novel ideas about thalamic function. This conference will bring together scientists from across the world with diverse perspectives and technical expertise to share and discuss the latest basic and translational research discoveries, and will promote community interaction and collaboration to accelerate our understanding of the thalamus in health and disease. To cultivate the integration and professional advancement of junior researchers and trainees, sessions will include short talks and poster preview presentations chosen from submitted abstracts as well as opportunities for mentorship.