, Volume 247, Issue 5 Supplement, pp V1-V15

Neural circuits and functional organization of the striatum

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Abstract

The basal ganglia and motor thalamic nuclei are functionally and anatomically divided into the sensorimotor, supplementary motor, premotor, associative and limbic territories. There exist both primary segregated basal ganglia-thalamocortical loops and convergence of functionally related information from different cortical areas onto these cortical basal gaglia-thalamocortical loops. The basal ganglia-thalamocortical loop arising from the sensorimotor area, supplementary motor area (SMA), premotor area and cingulate motor area provides distinct segregated subloops through the functionally distict stritial, pallidal and thalamic regions with partial overlap. The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is also topographically organized. The ventrolateral part of the caudal 2/3 levels of the medial pallidal segment (GPi) projects to the primary motor area via the oral part of the ventral lateral thalamic nucleus (VLo) (Voa, Vop by Hassler's nomenclature). The thalamic relay nuclei of the GPi projection to SMA are identified in the transitional zoe of the VApc (parvicellular part of the anterior ventral nucleus)-VLo and in the rostromedical part of the VLo. The thalamic nuclei relaying the cingulate subloop are not yet clearly defined. The supplementary motor subloop appears to be divided into the pre-SMA and SMA proper subloops. The premotor area is also divided into the dorsal premotor area subloop and the ventral premotor area subloop. It is suggested that the limbic loop consists of a number of subloops in the monkey as indicated by Haber et al. [67] and in rats [64]. We review here the microcircuitry of the striatum, as well as the convergence and integration between the functionally segregated loops. Finally, we discuss the functional implications of stritial connections.