Regulation of arousal level by midline thalamic and prefrontal cortical connections
The midline thalamus has a key role in the regulation of working memory, cognitive processing and sleep-wake transition, as well as in controlling cortical oscillations.
Damage or loss of function in this network can contribute to various psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety and schizophrenia.
Traditionally, this system was considered as homogeneous; however, our recent results and other literature data suggest a functional dichotomy in the midline thalamic-prefrontal cortical circuit. For these reason our investigation aim to characterize these parallel pathways, with the help of classical tract tracing techniques, special mouse and viral strains, molecular biological approaches, as well as in vivo acute anesthetized and chronic freely moving electrophysiological recordings, and behavioral experiments.