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      Tálamo según Galeno. Una Metáfora Controversial Translated title: Thalamus According to Galen. A Controversial Metaphor


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          RESUMEN: El vocabulario técnico-científico, uno de ellos la Terminologia Anatomica, tiene un legado lingüístico de idiomas clásicos en general y del latín y griego en particular. En este contexto, la metáfora ha cumplido un importante rol en la denominación de ciertas estructuras del cuerpo humano. El análisis de estas metáforas ha permitido conocer el origen etimológico de numerosos términos anatómicos derivados de esta práctica frecuente durante la historia. Este estudio tuvo como objetivo analizar y reflexionar acerca de la utilización del término tálamo y comentar la similitud formal de esta metáfora con las características neuroanatómicas. El nombre tálamo fue asignado por Claudio Galeno (130 - 200 a. C.); procede de un lenguaje común de orden material, el cual ha sido mencionado por autores clásicos, principalmente, como “cámara interna o cámara nupcial” y llevado a un lenguaje técnico-científico a través de una metáfora motivada por una disposición espacial o entendida como una expresión de imagen o similitud formal. Si Galeno utilizó esta metáfora considerando una similitud formal, el término tálamo sería equívoco, ya que no hay correspondencia estructural del término debido a que el tálamo neuroanatómico no es una cámara, sino una estructura diencefálica compacta y esferoidal u ovalada. Bajo este contexto, el término tálamo es confuso, ya que esta metáfora se condice más bien con el tercer ventrículo. Considerando lo anterior, invitamos a reflexionar sobre una propuesta basada en una característica morfológica de la estructura, en la cual se reemplace el término tálamo por neuroovoide.

          Translated abstract

          SUMMARY: The technical-scientific vocabulary, one of them the Anatomical Terminology, has a linguistic legacy of classical languages in general and of Latin and Greek in particular. In this context, the metaphor has played an important role in the naming of certain structures of the human body. The analysis of these metaphors has allowed us to know the etymological origin of numerous anatomical terms derived from this frequent practice throughout history. The purpose of this study was to analyze and reflect on the use of the term thalamus and to comment on the formal similarity of this metaphor with the neuroanatomical characteristics. The name thalamus was assigned by Claudio Galeno (130-200 BC); It comes from a common language of material order, which has been mentioned by classical authors, mainly, as "internal chamber or bridal chamber" and brought to a technicalscientific language through a metaphor motivated by a spatial arrangement or understood as a image expression or formal similarity. If Galen used this metaphor considering a formal similarity, the term thalamus would be misleading, since there is no structural correspondence to the term because the neuroanatomical thalamus is not a chamber, but a compact, spheroidal or oval diencephalic structure. In this context, the term thalamus is confusing, since this metaphor is more consistent with the third ventricle. Considering the above, we invite you to reflect on a proposal based on a morphological characteristic of the structure, in which the term thalamus is replaced by neuroovoid.

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          Thalamic structures and associated cognitive functions: Relations with age and aging.

          The thalamus, with its cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar connections, is a critical node in networks supporting cognitive functions known to decline in normal aging, including component processes of memory and executive functions of attention and information processing. The macrostructure, microstructure, and neural connectivity of the thalamus changes across the adult lifespan. Structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have demonstrated, regional thalamic volume shrinkage and microstructural degradation, with anterior regions generally more compromised than posterior regions. The integrity of selective thalamic nuclei and projections decline with advancing age, particularly those in thalamofrontal, thalamoparietal, and thalamolimbic networks. This review presents studies that assess the relations between age and aging and the structure, function, and connectivity of the thalamus and associated neural networks and focuses on their relations with processes of attention, speed of information processing, and working and episodic memory.
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            Thalamic Inhibition: Diverse Sources, Diverse Scales

            The thalamus is the major source of cortical inputs shaping sensation, action and cognition. Thalamic circuits are targeted by two major inhibitory systems: the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) and extra-thalamic inhibitory (ETI) inputs. A unifying framework of how these systems operate is currently lacking. Here, we propose that TRN circuits are specialized to exert thalamic control at different spatiotemporal scales. Local inhibition of thalamic spike rates prevails during attentional selection whereas global inhibition more likely during sleep. In contrast, the ETI (arising from basal ganglia, zona incerta, anterior pretectum and pontine reticular formation) provides temporally-precise and focal inhibition, impacting spike timing. Together, these inhibitory systems allow graded control of thalamic output, enabling thalamocortical operations to dynamically match ongoing behavioral demands.
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              Defining Thalamic Nuclei and Topographic Connectivity Gradients in vivo.

              The thalamus consists of multiple nuclei that have been previously defined by their chemoarchitectual and cytoarchitectual properties ex vivo. These form discrete, functionally specialized, territories with topographically arranged graduated patterns of connectivity. However, previous in vivo thalamic parcellation with MRI has been hindered by substantial inter-individual variability or discrepancies between MRI derived segmentations and histological sections. Here, we use the Euclidean distance to characterize probabilistic tractography distributions derived from diffusion MRI. We generate 12 feature maps by performing voxel-wise parameterization of the distance histograms (6 feature maps) and the distribution of three-dimensional distance transition gradients generated by applying a Sobel kernel to the distance metrics. We use these 12 feature maps to delineate individual thalamic nuclei, then extract the tractography profiles for each and calculate the voxel-wise tractography gradients. Within each thalamic nucleus, the tractography gradients were topographically arranged as distinct non-overlapping cortical networks with transitory overlapping mid-zones. This work significantly advances quantitative segmentation of the thalamus in vivo using 3T MRI. At an individual subject level, the thalamic segmentations consistently achieve a close relationship with a priori histological atlas information, and resolve in vivo topographic gradients within each thalamic nucleus for the first time. Additionally, these techniques allow individual thalamic nuclei to be closely aligned across large populations and generate measures of inter-individual variability that can be used to study both basic function and pathological processes in vivo.

                Author and article information

                International Journal of Morphology
                Int. J. Morphol.
                Sociedad Chilena de Anatomía (Temuco, , Chile )
                June 2020
                : 38
                : 3
                : 799-803
                [1] Manizales Caldas orgnameUniversidad de Manizales orgdiv1Departamento de Ciencias Básicas Colombia
                [2] Manizales Caldas orgnameUniversidad de Caldas orgdiv1Departamento de Ciencias Básicas Colombia
                [5] Temuco Araucanía orgnameUniversidad de La Frontera orgdiv1Centro de Excelencia en Estudios Morfológicos y Quirúrgicos Chile
                [3] Arica Tarapacá orgnameUniversidad de Tarapacá Chile
                [4] Temuco Araucanía orgnameUniversidad de La Frontera orgdiv1Facultad de Medicina Chile
                S0717-95022020000300799 S0717-9502(20)03800300799

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

                : 04 June 2019
                : 03 January 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 27, Pages: 5

                SciELO Chile

                Tálamo,Terminologia Anatomica,Galeno,Etimología,Metáfora,Anatomical Terminology,Thalamus,Galen,Etymology,Metaphor


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