Anatomy and Function of the Direct and Indirect Striatal Pathways

  • Jean-Jacques SoghomonianEmail author
Part of the Innovations in Cognitive Neuroscience book series (Innovations Cogn.Neuroscience)


The striatum is known as the input structure of the basal ganglia because it integrates prominent inputs from several regions of the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus and controls neuronal activities in the SNr and Gpi/entopeduncular nucleus, whose neurons project outside the basal ganglia to motor and premotor brain regions. The striatum exerts its actions on the basal ganglia output via two pathways known as the direct and indirect pathway. These two pathways are central to our current understanding of the functional organization of the basal ganglia. This chapter describes the experimental basis for the distinction between a direct and indirect pathway and the hypothesized functional roles of these two pathways.


Striatum Dopamine D1 and D2 receptor Direct pathway Indirect pathway Motor control Associative learning Drug abuse 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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