The Basal Ganglia Contribution to Controlled and Automatic Processing

  • Estrella DíazEmail author
  • Juan-Pedro Vargas
  • Juan-Carlos López
Part of the Innovations in Cognitive Neuroscience book series (Innovations Cogn.Neuroscience)


The basal ganglia are traditionally associated with motor activity. However, recent studies indicate that this structure plays a key role in cognitive processes. In this chapter, we analyze the involvement of the dorsal striatum in controlled and automatic processes. These two concepts are major research topics in psychology and neuroscience, since they have a relevance to different fields such as attention, learning, and memory. The dorsal striatum is a structure anatomically divided into different main functional domains that are essential for the acquisition and expression of habits and goal-directed behaviors. From these recent ideas of basal ganglia function, this chapter includes an integrative view of normal and pathological processes observed in some mental and degenerative illness.


Basal ganglia Striatal network Dorsal striatum Automated processes Controlled processes 



His research was supported by PSI2012-32445 and PSI 2015-65500P grants.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Estrella Díaz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Juan-Pedro Vargas
    • 1
  • Juan-Carlos López
    • 1
  1. 1.Animal Behavior and Neuroscience Laboratory, Dpt. Psicologia Experimental, School of PsychologyUniversidad de SevillaSevillaSpain

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