Thalamic Reticular Nucleus Exerts Long-range Cross-modal Modulation on Sensory Processing Depending on Inputs?
Xunda Wang1,2, Linshan Xie1,2, Teng Ma1,2,3, Pit Shan Chong4, Lee-Wei Lim4, Peng Cao3, Pek-Lan Khong3, Alex T. L. Leong1,2, and Ed X. Wu1,2
1Laboratory of Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China, 2Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China, 3Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China, 4School of Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) has been shown to gate sensory thalamo-cortical interactions and selectively modulate thalamic sensory information processing according to behavioral demands. However, whether TRN can exert long-range, i.e., beyond thalamus, cross-modal modulation of sensory processing remains unclear. In this fMRI study, we demonstrate that optogenetic excitation of somatosensory-specific TRN enhances cross-modal excitatory sensory inputs but suppresses cross-modal competing inputs at somatosensory cortices. Our work provides insight into how TRN differentially gate the processing of distinct cross-modal sensory information at large-scale, which may be critical for ensuring the balance between various task demands.
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