One of 2 structures within the brain consisting of a walnut-sized mass of nerve tissue. The thalami sit at the top of the brainstem and are connected to all parts of the brain. Each thalamus relays sensory information flowing into the brain. Some basic sensations, such as pain, may reach consciousness within the thalamus. Other types of sensory information are processed and relayed to parts of the cerebral cortex (outer layer of the brain), where sensations are perceived. The thalamus seems to act as a filter by selecting only information of particular importance. Certain centres in the thalamus may also play a part in longterm memory.


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