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Thalamus

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Updated November 07, 2008

Thalamus

Posterior view of the thalamus (large structures at the top on each side)

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Definition: The part of the brain that receives and processes all sensory modalities, except smell. Sensations processed by the thalamus include vision, touch (including pain, temperature, pressure), taste, and hearing. The thalamus is also critical for awareness.

Information processed by the thalamus is sent to the brain cortex, where it is further processed and brought up to a conscious level.

The thalamus is located in an area of the brain called the diencephalon.

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