Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

2015 Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Basal Ganglia: Overview

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6675-8_760


The basal ganglia are a collection of four subcortical nuclei: the striatum, substantia nigra, globus pallidus, and subthalamic nucleus. They are components of several apparently segregated circuits that can be classified according to function as motor, oculomotor, associative, or limbic. Certain neurons in the basal ganglia are major sources of the neurotransmitter dopamine, associated with reward, while others receive dopaminergic inputs; thus, the basal ganglia have received considerable attention in the context of learning. Imbalances in activity across the basal ganglia nuclei within the motor circuit are associated with various motor disorders.

Detailed Description

This section focuses on the motor aspects of the basal ganglia, which have been the subject of most computational studies. The articles can be classified as those concentrating on the activity within particular areas of the basal ganglia, those considering basal ganglia function, and those about the roles of...

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  1. Albin RL, Young AB, Penney JB (1989) The functional anatomy of basal ganglia disorders. Trends Neurosci 12:366–375PubMedGoogle Scholar
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Further Reading

  1. Alexander GE, Crutcher MD, DeLong MR (1990) Basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits: parallel substrates for motor, oculomotor, ‘prefrontal’ and ‘limbic’ functions. Prog Brain Res 85:119–146PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bergman H, Feingold A, Nini A, Raz A, Slovin H, Abeles M, Vaadia E (1998) Physiological aspects of information processing in the basal ganglia of normal and parkinsonian primates. Trends Neurosci 21:32–38PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Gerfen CR, Wilson CJ (1996) The basal ganglia. Handb Chem Neuroanat 12:371–468Google Scholar
  4. Smith Y, Bevan MD, Shink E, Bolam JP (1998) Microcircuitry of the direct and indirect pathways of the basal ganglia. Neuroscience 86:353–387PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Center for the Neural Basis of CognitionUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA