Select slide 3. The arrow points to the thalamus which contain many different nuclei, each functionally specialized. The thalamus is in contact with the entire cerebral cortex. It is a relay station for sensory information, (in fact all input, except smell), ascending to the cerebral cortex, and it sorts, selects, and transfers the information. It plays a key role in mediating cortical attention, memory, emotion, and somatic input.