Is the thalamus at the heart of consciousness?
There is a growing understanding of those who can no longer move their bodies but who apparently retain their awareness. This is called covert consciousness. For those affected, the result is tragic. As a result of the work being done in this area, solutions are gradually appearing. One of the by-products is the conjecture that we can now pinpoint the location of consciousness in the brain. This is the mesocircuit hypothesis. It holds that consciousness is located in a number of neuronal networks centred on the thalamus. Due to its hub-like position in the brain, this is not the first time the thalamus has been identified as critical to consciousness.
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