Alcohol Effects on the Dorsal Striatum

  • Mary H. Patton
  • Aparna P. Shah
  • Brian N. MathurEmail author
Part of the Innovations in Cognitive Neuroscience book series (Innovations Cogn.Neuroscience)


The dorsal striatum is involved in action learning/selection. Distinguishable forms of action learning, goal-directed and habitual learning, are mediated by medial and lateral subdivisions of the dorsal striatum, respectively. Data from several studies now support the emerging picture that alcohol remodels dorsal striatal macro- and microcircuitry to promote the expression of habitual action strategies. In this chapter, we review known alcohol effects on the various synapse and cell types of the dorsal striatum and synthesize this work with what is known about alcohol’s influence on striatal-mediated behaviors. We conclude with a discussion of how alcohol action on dorsal striatum physiology may foster compulsive drinking, a hallmark of alcoholism.


Alcohol abuse Striatum Habits Neuronal plasticity 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary H. Patton
    • 1
  • Aparna P. Shah
    • 1
  • Brian N. Mathur
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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