Bridging large-scale cortical networks: Integrative and function-specific hubs in the thalamus

Kazuya Kawabata, Epifanio Bagarinao, Hirohisa Watanabe, Satoshi Maesawa, Daisuke Mori, Kazuhiro Hara, Reiko Ohdake, Michihito Masuda, Aya Ogura, Toshiyasu Kato, Shuji Koyama, Masahisa Katsuno, Toshihiko Wakabayashi, Masafumi Kuzuya, Minoru Hoshiyama, Haruo Isoda, Shinji Naganawa, Norio Ozaki, Gen Sobue


The thalamus is critical for the brain’s integrative hub functions; however, the localization and characterization of the different thalamic hubs remain unclear. Using a voxel-level network measure called functional connectivity overlap ratio (FCOR), we examined the thalamus’ association with large-scale resting-state networks (RSNs) to elucidate its connector hub roles. Connections to the core-neurocognitive networks were localized in the anterior and medial parts, such as the anteroventral and mediodorsal nuclei areas. Regions functionally connected to the sensorimotor network were distinctively located around the lateral pulvinar nucleus but to a limited extent. Prominent connector hubs include the anteroventral, ventral lateral, and mediodorsal nuclei with functional connections to multiple RSNs. These findings suggest that the thalamus, with extensive connections to most of the RSNs, is well placed as a critical integrative functional hub and could play an important role for functional integration facilitating brain functions associated with primary processing and higher cognition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.