Anterior thalamic mediation of experimental seizures: Selective EEG spectral coherence

Marek A. Mirski, Yien Che Tsai, Lisa Ann Rossell, Nitish V. Thakor, David L. Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Purpose: Physiological evidence has shown that the anterior thalamus (AN) and its associated efferents/ afferents constitute an important propagation pathway for pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-mediated generalized seizures in rodents. Previous work demonstrated metabolic, physical, chemical, and electrical stimulation data supporting a role for AN in the expression of PTZ seizures. We now extend these observations through examination of neuroelectric signal indicators during seizure epochs. We show that the EEG recorded from AN is highly coherent with surface cortical (CTX) EEG during the immediate preconvulsant period and during the ictal stateough. Methods: Awake rats were continuously infused with PTZ until clonic seizures were recorded by using both subcortical AN, posterior thalamus (PT), or hippocampal (HPC) bipolar electrodes and cortical EEG. Through the signal-analysis techniques of ordinary and partial coherence, it was possible to focus selectively on signal correlations between AN and CTX (AN/CTX) by removing the effects of unaffiliated regions such as PT and HPC. Results: Coherence of PT/CTX was observed to be modest, and partial coherence of PT/CTX with the effects of AN/CTX removed did not improve the signal coherence of PT/CTX (PT/ CTX-AN). In contrast, AN/CTX coherence was observed to be high, with undiminished correlation when PT/CTX influence was removed (AN/CTX-PT). The most robust band of AN/ CTX coherence was centered around the spike-wave clonic frequency of 1-3 Hz. Partial multiple coherence-analysis techniques were used to remove the possible signal contributions from hippocampus in addition to PT. The AN/CTX coherence remained fully preserved in the low-frequency bands. Conclusions: These data provide electrophysiologic evidence supporting the special role of the anterior thalamus in the propagation of seizure activity between subcortex and cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-365
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Anterior thalamus
  • Coherence
  • EEG
  • Pentylenetetrazol
  • Seizure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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