The research of the lab primarily focuses on an examination of various afferent systems to the hippocampus involved in the control/modulation the activity of the hippocampus in learning and memory. Early studies of the lab described ascending brainstem-diencephalic-septohippocampal systems controlling the theta rhythm of the hippocampus and the functional significance of theta. This work is summarized in the several of reviews: Vertes and Kocsis, 1997, Vertes et al., 2004, Vertes 2005). More recently we have directed our attention to another major input to the hippocampus -- the nucleus reuniens of the midline thalamus. The nucleus reuniens, together with other nuclei of the midline thalamus, is actively being investigated. Nucleus reuniens is strongly reciprocally connected with the hippocampus and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and appears to directly participate in functions involving interactions between the hippocampus and the mPFC (for review, Cassel et al., 2013). The reuniens and rhomboid nuclei of the ventral midline thalamus predominantly target limbic cortical structures (Vertes, et al., 2006; Hoover and Vertes, 2012; Varela et al. 2014) and hence serve a role in cognitive functions (Hembrook and Mair, 2011, 2012; Loureiro et al., 2012; Cholvin et al., 2013; whereas the paraventricular and paratenial nuclei of the dorsal midline thalamus mainly target to limbic subcortical structures (Li and Kirouac, 2008; Vertes and Hoover, 2008), notably the nucleus accumbens and amygdala, and thus are primarily involved in affective functions (for review, Hsu et al., 2014; Matzeu et al., 2014).
McKenna, J.T., Vertes, R.P. (2004) Afferent projections to nucleus reuniens of the thalamus. J. Comp. Neurol. 480, 115-142.
Viana Di Prisco, G., Vertes, R.P. (2006) Excitatory actions of the ventral midline thalamus (rhomboid/reuniens) on the medial prefrontal cortex in the rat. Synapse 60, 45-55.
Vertes, R.P., Hoover, W.B, do Valle, A.C., Sherman, A., Rodriguez, J.J. (2006) Efferent projections of reuniens and rhomboid nuclei of the thalamus in the rat. J. Comp. Neurol. 499, 768-796.
Vertes, R.P. (2006) Interactions among the medial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and midline thalamus in emotional and cognitive processing in the rat. Neuroscience 142, 1-20.
Vertes, R.P., Hoover, W.B, Szigeti, K., Leranth, C. (2007) Nucleus reuniens of the midline thalamus: link between the medial prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. Brain Res. Bull. 71, 601-609.
Morales, G.J., Ramcharan, E.J., Sundararaman, N., Morgera, S.D., Vertes, R.P. (2007) Analysis of the actions of nucleus reuniens and the entorhinal cortex on EEG and evoked population behavior of the hippocampus. Proc. IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. Soc. 1, 2480-2484.
Vertes, R.P., Hoover, W.B. (2008) Projections of the paraventricular and paratenial nuclei of the dorsal midline thalamus in the rat. J. Comp. Neurol. 508, 212-237.
Hoover, W.B., Vertes, R.P. (2012) Collateral projections from nucleus reuniens of thalamus to hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex in the rat: a single and double retrograde fluorescent labeling study. Brain Struct. Funct. 217, 191-209.
Vertes, R.P., Hoover, W.B., Rodriguez, J.J. (2012) Projections of the central medial nucleus of the thalamus: node in cortical, striatal and limbic forebrain circuitry. Neuroscience 219, 120-136.
Cassel, J.C., Pereira de Vasconccelos, A., Loureiro, M., Cholvin, T., Dalrymple-Alford, J., Vertes, R.P. (2013) The reuniens and rhomboid nuclei: neuroanatomy, electrophysiological characteristics and behavioral implications. Prog Neurobiol. 111, 34-52