Books and Other Publications


Books and Other Publications 



Sherman, S.M., and Guillery, R.W. (2004) Thalamus. In: Synaptic Organization of the Brain, Fifth Edition, G.M. Shepherd (ed.), Oxford University Press, pp. 311-359. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M., and Koch, C. (1998) Thalamus. In: Synaptic Organization of the Brain, Fourth Edition, G.M. Shepherd (ed.), Oxford University Press, pp. 289-328. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M., and Koch, C. (1990) Thalamus. In: Synaptic Organization of the Brain, Third Edition, G.M. Shepherd (ed.), Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 246- 278. (pdf)

Cohen, D.H., and Sherman, S.M. (1988) The Nervous System. In: Physiology, Second Edition, R.M. Berne and M.N. Levy (eds.), C.V. Mosby, St. Louis, pp. 67-311.

Cohen, D.H., and Sherman, S.M. (1983) The Nervous System. In: Physiology, First Edition, R.M. Berne and M.N. Levy (eds.), C.V. Mosby, St. Louis, pp. 69-356.



Sherman, S.M. and Guillery R.W. (2014) The Lateral Geniculate Nucleus and Pulvinar. In: The New Visual Neurosciences. J.S. Werner and L.M. Chalupa (eds.), MIT Press, pp. 257-283. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (2009) Thalamocortical Relations. In: Handbook of Neuroscience for the Behavioral Sciences, Volume 1. G.G. Bernston and J.T. Cacioppo (eds.). Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, N.J., pp. 201-223.(pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (2009) Thalamic mechanisms in vision. In: Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. L.R. Squire Editor-in-Chief), Academic Press, Oxford, U.K., vol. 9, pp. 929-944. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (2007) Thalamocortical loops and information processing. In: Encyclopedia of Pain, Vol. 3 P-Z, R. F. Schmidt and W. D. Willis (eds.), Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, pp. 2427-2431. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (2006) What is the function of the thalamus? In: 23 Problems in Systems Neuroscience, J.L. van Hemmen and T.J. Sejnowski (eds.), Oxford University Press, pp. 65-82. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M., and Guillery, R.W. (2004) The visual relays in the thalamus. In: The Visual Neurosciences, L.M. Chalupa and J.S. Werner (eds.), MIT Press, 565-591. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (2004) The thalamic interneuron. In: Dendritic Neurotransmitter Release, M. Ludwig (ed.), Springer, New York, 133-144.(pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (1993) Dynamic gating of retinal transmission to the visual cortex by the lateral geniculate nucleus.In: Thalamic Networks for Relay and Modulation, D. Minciacchi, M. Molinari, G. Macchi, and E.G. Jones (eds.), Pergamon Press, pp. 61-79. (pdf)

Stanford, L.R., and Sherman, S.M. (1990) Postnatal development of the cat's visual pathways. In: Systems Approaches to Developmental Neurobiology, P.A. Raymond and S.S. Easter (eds.), Plenum, pp. 141-152. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (1988) Functional organization of the cat's lateral geniculate nucleus. In: Cellular Thalamic Mechanisms, G. Macchi, M. Bentivoglio, and R. Spreafico (eds.), Elsevier, pp. 163-183. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (1985) Parallel W-, X-, and Y-cell pathways in the cat: a model for visual function. In: Models of the Visual Cortex, D. Rose and V. Dobson (eds.), John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, pp. 71-84. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (1985) Functional organization of the W-, X-, and Y-cell pathways: a review and hypothesis. In: Progress in Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology, J.M. Sprague and A.N. Epstein (eds.), Academic Press, New York, 233-314. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M., and Spear, P.D. (1983) Neural development of cats raised with deprivation of visual patterns. In: The Clinical Neurosciences, Section V, Neurobiology, W. Willis (ed.), Churchill Livingston, New York, pp. 385-434. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (1982) Parallel pathways in the cat's geniculo-cortical system: W-, X-, and Y-cells. In: Changing Concepts of the Nervous System, A.R. Morrison and P.L. Strick (eds.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 337-359. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (1979) Development of the lateral geniculate nucleus in cats raised with monocular eyelid suture. In: Developmental Neurobiology of Vision, R.D. Freeman (ed.), Plenum Press, New York, pp. 79-97. (pdf)

Sherman, S.M. (1978) Development of the geniculocortical pathways. In: Strabismus, R.D. Reinecke (ed.), Grune & Stratton, New York, pp. 11-22. (pdf)



Adams, P.R., Guillery, R.W., Sherman, S.M., and Sillito, A.M. (2003) The essential role of the thalamus in cortical functioning. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.B:Biological Sciences. 357, 1647-1883.



S. Murray Sherman (2006) Thalamus. Scholarpedia, 1(9):1583




Sherman, S.M., and Guillery, R.W. (2013) Functional Connections of Cortical Areas. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (see below)

Sherman, S.M , and. Guillery, R.W. (2006) Exploring the Thalamus and its Role in Cortical Function. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA

Sherman, S.M , and. Guillery, R.W. (2001) Exploring the Thalamus. Academic Press, San Diego.



[Excerpted from the Preface]

This book follows two earlier books by the same two authors: the first one on the thalamus (Sherman and Guillery 2001) and a second edition reaching somewhat beyond the thalamus to include more of the relationships to cortex (Sherman and Guillery 2006). We decided that we now needed a distinct book, heading in a different direction but based on large parts of the same thalamocortical foundations. To some extent the title indicates this; we started with the ground rules that we had been able to define for the thalamus and followed their implications to the thalamic inputs and to the connections of the cortical areas and their outputs. That is, we argued our way from the thalamus to the rest of the brain and arrived at new ways of thinking about the functions of the cortical areas in relation to the world, to cognition and behavior. However, this is not a book about the brain and the mind. It is a collection of thoughts about neuroscience, the structure and functions of nerve cells and their interconnections. Our earlier thoughts about the thalamus…have led us now to look more closely at how the neural circuits of the brain relate to our actions and our perceptions, how not only people, but many other complex, or even quite simple organisms relate to the world.

Two major points have become clear to us as we planned, wrote and argued about the contents of this book. One, that runs through much of this book, and is explored in detail in later chapters, was that a functional and structural analysis of the neural circuits that connect thalamus and cortex leads us beyond these neural centers to lower centers of the brain, and through them to the body and the world. That is, not only the cortex as a whole, but each part of the cortex individually, each of the cortical areas that are often treated as distinct organs, is closely linked to the body and the world and relates closely to the way in which we act and think. Each receives inputs from the thalamus and each has outputs to subcortical centers. This second view of cortical areas all having their own links to subcortical centers and to the body was a recognition that a view of cortex dominating much contemporary research needs to be challenged. This currently widely accepted view is one that sees the cortex as a large collection of separate, functionally distinct areas that interact with each other in complex hierarchies and pass messages about the body and world to and fro among each other, eventually towards centers that can store memories or produce actions. In this view, the inputs from the body enter through the sensory areas and the motor areas provide the outputs. The subcortical outputs from the sensory and intermediate areas do not play a part in this schema, nor do the thalamic inputs to higher cortical areas. There are several reasons why such a challenge is needed, and for us they arose directly out of our thoughts about the thalamus.

One element … that plays essentially no role in most current views of cortical functions is the presence of transthalamic corticocortical connections, which were revealed once it was recognized that there are thalamic nuclei that relay messages from one cortical area to another. These were called higher order relays in our earlier books. These transthalamic links are pathways providing a route additional to the direct corticocortical pathways that dominate current thinking….

These considerations raise a lot of unanswered questions about the thala­mus, the cortex, and the rest of the brain. It is fashionable to ask, and we are often asked, what are the hypotheses that we are testing? We mention several in the course of the book, but the key consideration is about the questions we are asking about currently unexplored aspects of how thalamus and cortex relate to the rest of the brain….