The goal of this study was to establish a structural basis for thalamic and visceral integration. We sought to define neural networks that convey visceral or integrated environmental stimuli to the diffuse thalamocortical relay system and that link periodic changes in forebrain and visceral reflex function. Our experiments were designed to determine whether afferents to the midline-intralaminar thalamic nuclei (MIT) issue collaterals to the general viscerosensory division of the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS). Experiments were performed on anesthetized male Sprague-Dawley rats. Two tracers, FluoroGold and rhodamine latex microbeads, were stereotaxically centered on the MIT and NTS, respectively, in each animal. Subsets of midline thalamic afferents were identified that issue collaterals to the solitary complex. In the cerebral cortex, dually labeled soma were detected in layer V of the insular and infralimbic areas. In the subcortical forebrain, the lateral septal nucleus, anterolateral area of the bed nuclei of stria terminalis, medial preoptic nucleus, medial and central amygdaloid nuclei, caudal lateral hypothalamic area, supramammillary nucleus, and parvicellular division of the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus constitute other newly identified sources of collateral projection. In the midbrain and pons, collateral projection cells were observed in the periaqueductal gray, dorsal raphe nucleus, mesencephalic reticular formation, laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, lateral and medial parabrachial nuclei, and noradrenergic A5 area. In the lateral parabrachial nucleus, dually labeled neurons were detected in the dorsal-lateral division. In the medulla, collaterals are derived from cells in the rostral and caudal ventrolateral reticular formation and parapyramidal area. Dually labeled cells were also found in the cerebellar fastigial nucleus. Collaterals may coordinate changes in visceral reflex excitability and thalamocortical rhythms during phases of sleep-wake cycle and behavioral expression.