This article starts with a brief review of the thalamocortical system architecture, which is composed of the projecting thalamic nuclei, the thalamic reticular nucleus, and the neocortex. Then we provide a description of the three states of vigilances followed by a detailed review of major brain rhythms present in the thalamocortical system, ranging from very slow to very fast oscillations. We provide descriptions of known mechanisms and hypotheses for unknown mechanisms for the generation of the different rhythms. The last part offers a detailed review on sleep slow oscillation describing its properties in the thalamocortical system, proposing a mechanism of generation of active states and a description of their propagation.
Keywords: Slow-wave sleep, Slow oscillation, sleep, thalamocortical, states of vigilance, thalamocortical system architecture, projecting thalamic nuclei, hypotheses, vast majority of fibers, giant synapses, glutamatergic axons, thalamic nucleus, corticothalamic axons, electrotonically RE neurons, cortical layers, intrinsically-bursting neurons
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