MODULE 14 - INTRODUCTION
As you know, our course is organized in terms of systems, rather than regions of the brain. Thus, we never take up the midbrain, for example, but by the time you have studied all the systems that pass through or are represented at this level you should be able to work out for yourself the various functions that are carried out within this division of the brain stem. There is, however, one region where it seems to us that you may need a little help integrating the variety of information that you have received, and that is the dorsal thalamus, which we usually refer to simply as the thalamus. We think you need help for two reasons. The first is that the various thalamic nuclei that you have studied are packed together so tightly that it is difficult to distinguish between them. The second is that several of the thalamic nuclei that you should be aware of do not belong to any of the systems we have taken up so far. Thus, the only way to cover them is in a regional treatment of this sort.
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