Sage and Ralf’s paper is published in Frontiers in neural circuits. In this paper we analyzed a previously collected dataset (from Halassa et al., 2014 Cell) and found some interesting parallels between sensory TRN activity patterns in sleep and wake. In doing so, we discovered that the same thalamic spindle generating circuitry in sleep may engage in alpha generation during wake. These findings provide important insights into sensory processing and its conserved mechanisms across states (at least at this early stage of sensory processing). It also suggests that disruption in these mechanisms could yield to sensory processing deficits that are state-invariant.