New book by S. Murray Sherman explores the inner workings of the thalamus and cortex

S. Murray Sherman, PhD, Maurice Goldblatt Professor and Chair of Neurobiology, has published a new book, "Exploring Thalamocortical Interactions: Circuitry for Sensation, Action, and Cognition," co-written with W. Martin Usrey from the University of California at Davis. The book reviews essential knowledge about thalamocortical interactions and explores novel and thought-provoking alternative views about these processes.

"The main idea of the book is to provide a basis of cell and circuit features of thalamus and cortex derived from a wide range of experimental approaches, and provide what we regard as novel interpretations of this evidence," Sherman and Usrey write in the preface. "Much of our analysis involves notions of how the process of evolution places certain constraints on our theoretical framework regarding these issues. In doing so, we challenge much conventional thinking about thalamocortical relationships and functioning of cortex."

The book builds upon Sherman's three previous books on the thalamus and cortex with the late Ray Guillery, with whom he collaborated for more than 50 years. Sherman said the new partnership with Usrey adds new perspectives, along with input from graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. "There has been a groundswell of new and renewed interest in the thalamus and thalamocortical interactions over the past decade, and this has led to new conferences and workshops for the broad community of scientists at all career levels to share in their knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject," they write.

Exploring Thalamocortical Interactions is now available from Oxford University Press.