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Caption: This is a 3-D reconstruction of a single thalamic neuron (blue) and its axon (red) which makes synaptic connections onto thousands of cortical neurons. Thalamocortical "wires" like this one make most of their connections in the middle layers of cortical circuits (gray rings at top), and their sparse branches in the deeper layers (just below rings) have been historically overlooked. The paper demonstrates that these sparse connections are the main drivers of activity in deep layers of cortex. This video relates to a paper that appeared in the June 28, 2013, issue of Science, published by AAAS. The paper, by C.M. Constantinople and R.M. Bruno in Columbia University in New York, NY, and colleagues was titled, "Deep Cortical Layers Are Activated Directly by Thalamus."

Credit: [Video courtesy of Randy Bruno]

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