Microstimulation of movements from cerebellar-receiving, but not pallidal-receiving areas of the macaque thalamus under ketamine anaesthesia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • S. Price
  • R. Mason
  • R. E. Passingham
  • J. L. Winter
  • J. F. Stein

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Oxford
  • Dept. of Experimental Psychology


The motor thalamic areas receiving input from the globus pallidus (VA) and the cerebellar nuclei (VL) appear to have different roles in the generation and guidance of movements. In order to further test these differences, we used electrical stimulation to map the ventro-anterior and ventro-lateral nuclei of the thalamus in three ketamine anaesthetised monkeys. Movements were readily evoked from VL at currents of down to 10 μA. The movements were typically multijoint, and stimulation could evoke arm and trunk or arm and facial movement at the same current threshold. Evoked arm movements often involved multiple joints, with or without finger movements. Facial movements included the lips, tongue, jaw, eyebrows and, occasionally, the eyes. The thalamic map was topographic, but complex with at least two separate regions related to arm movement. Very few sites within the VA could stimulate movement, even at high currents. We therefore suggest that the cerebellar projections to motor regions of the cortex, which pass through the VL thalamic nuclei, have a different relationship and are closer to movement execution than the projections from basal ganglia via the ventro-anterior nucleus.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-396
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 1998


  • Basal ganglia, Cerebellum, Electrical stimulation, Movement, Thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas