Pulvinar Complex: Relay Center or Something More?

Jaikishan Jayakumar*

Pulvinar Complex: Relay Center or Something More?

The pulvinar is a collection of thalamic nuclei which is often considered mainly
with visual processing and attention.

The unique thing about this thalamic brain area is that, in phylogeny,
this area is considered to be much more advanced in primates and
virtually absent in rodents, making it an important brain area
to understand in human brain evolution.

This editorial aims to shed light on the structure and function of the pulvinar.
The pulvinar that is described in this article mainly
represents the pulvinar of primates including humans as they are
much more defined and developed compared with lesser species.

Based on the cyto- and myeloarchitectural, the pulvinar can be
divided into medial, lateral, inferior and the more anterior oral pulvinar.

This classification, however, is purely anatomical and controversial and does
not represent the functional classification of the nuclei.

It is still unclear as to how many nuclei there are in the various divisions of the pulvinar.
The majority of visual zones within the pulvinar for e.g. are found in the lateral and the inferior zones.

Within the visual pulvinar, there is at least three subdivisions that have been named based
on Calbindin staining.

In addition, the visual pulvinar is also classified into two zones depending
on its recipients: a striate cortical zone and a superior collicular zone

Moreover, functionally the pulvinar looks to “mimic” the topographical organization of
the cortical structures from which it receives input.

This has led to the name “associative nuclei” rather than sensory or motor nuclei for this area.

Neuro Open J. 2018; 5(1): e1-e2. doi: 10.17140/NOJ-5-e008