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The Basal Ganglia 

The Basal Ganglia
Chapter:
The Basal Ganglia
Author(s):

Per Brodal

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190228958.003.0023
Page of

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date: 05 March 2021

Chapter 23 deals with the basal ganglia and their role in motor control and cognition. They are intercalated in a loop from the cerebral cortex and back via the thalamus. The striatum is the receiving part, dominated by glutamatergic afferents from the cortex and dopaminergic input from the substantia nigra. Striatal GABAergic neurons send their axons to the globus pallidus and the substantia nigra. These nuclei send their GABAergic efferents to the thalamus and brain stem. From the thalamus, excitatory connections reach motor and prefrontal parts of the cortex. The striatothalamic pathway contains two inhibitory neurons in a row, evoking disinhibition. In this way the basal ganglia may facilitate switching from one movement or mental task to another. The basal ganglia also support learning of automatic movements and contribute to cognitive functions. The ventralmost parts of the basal ganglia are involved in control of motivation and emotions.

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