The EPFL Blue Brain Project has built the first next-generation models of thalamocortical neurons. These digital models of thalamocortical neurons were built using state-of-the art optimization techniques, which directly constrain unknown parameter values with experimental data. Thalamocortical neurons are essential components in the transmission of information from the outside world to higher order brain areas, such as the neocortex. These neurons fire action potentials in distinct modes, which are associated with different brain states, such as wakefulness and sleep. These findings are the first phase towards the complete modelling of the rodent thalamus, which is the next step for the Blue Brain Project. In addition, the experimental and modelling community can now use these data and models in their analysis and modelling workflows.