The aim of the experimental in situ and in vivo studies is to identify the alterations of intrinsic neuronal properties (ion channels, membrane receptors), network circuitry and modulation of neurons by neurotransmitters (acetylcholine, GABA, noradrenaline, and serotonin) in different thalamic nuclei (first and higher order, intralaminar) which underlie the switch from physiological sleep related activity (e.g. delta oscillations) to absence epilepsy-related spike-and-wave discharges (SWD) and play an important role in the development of chronic pain.