The neothalamus is part of the diencephalon, a portion of the brain of higher organisms including humans. The neothalamus receives input from the thalamus and projects to the association areas of the neocortex. It contains the largest division of nuclei in the brain and is larger in animals with a well-developed cortex.

Nociceptive signals received in the spinal cord from primary afferent neurons are projected via secondary afferent neurons, specifically, via the neospinothalamic tract, through the neothalamus, where the tract terminates, to the somatosensory cortex.

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