Basal ganglia

  • Article
    | Open Access

    A crucial component of voluntary behaviour is deciding that it is worth doing something rather than nothing. Here the authors show the brain network that encodes this decision, which includes the habenula and anterior insula.

    • Nima Khalighinejad
    • , Neil Garrett
    •  & Matthew F. S. Rushworth
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Deep-brain stimulation ameliorates parkinsonian symptoms, but it usually requires permanent implantation of hardware and connectors. Here, the authors show magnetothermal neuromodulation through the activation of TRPV1 can improve locomotor deficits in mouse models of Parkinson’s disease.

    • Sarah-Anna Hescham
    • , Po-Han Chiang
    •  & Yasin Temel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In Parkinson’s disease (PD), beta frequency oscillations are synchronised across the cortico-basal-ganglia circuit. The authors show in human participants that high beta frequencies propagate from the cortex to the basal ganglia via the hyperdirect pathway, indicating a pathophysiological role for this pathway in PD.

    • Ashwini Oswal
    • , Chunyan Cao
    •  & Vladimir Litvak
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Disruption of FOXP2 cause Childhood Apraxia of Speech, a speech disorder marked by difficulties in accurately sequencing vocal motor actions. The authors show that disruption of FoxP2 in the adult songbird similarly disrupts birdsong and link dopaminergic signalling to disruptions in song production.

    • Lei Xiao
    • , Devin P. Merullo
    •  & Todd F. Roberts
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Surprisingly, motor cortex becomes less involved in performing skilled motor behaviors as they are practiced. This is addressed by a model of two descending pathways featuring different types of learning: fast learning in a cortical pathway to maximize rewards and slow learning in a subcortical pathway to reinforce behaviors through repetition.

    • James M. Murray
    •  & G. Sean Escola
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Psychomotor stimulants increase dopamine levels in the striatum and promote locomotion but their effects on striatal pathways in vivo remain unclear. The authors show that cocaine increases the activity of direct and indirect pathway striatal neurons of awake mice via the orbitofrontal cortex.

    • Sebastiano Bariselli
    • , Nanami L. Miyazaki
    •  & Alexxai V. Kravitz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The regulation of cellular neuronal properties distinct from synaptic plasticity has been proposed as a mechanism of functional network organization. Here, the authors show that the magnitude of five ion currents in basal ganglia projection song system forebrain neurons covary across life, rapidly and dynamically relating to learned features of individual zebra finches’ songs.

    • Arij Daou
    •  & Daniel Margoliash
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many natural behaviours involve tracking of a target in space. Here, the authors describe a task to assess this behaviour in mice and use in vivo electrophysiology, calcium imaging, optogenetics, and chemogenetics to investigate the role of the striatum in target pursuit.

    • Namsoo Kim
    • , Haofang E. Li
    •  & Henry H. Yin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How corticostriatal connections of different pyramidal cell types are organized, particularly in convergent circuits, has not been evaluated in detail. Here, cell type-specific Cre-driver mice reveal that pyramidal tract-type corticostriatal projections, though broadly similar to intratelencephalic-type projections from the same cortical region, are generally more restricted and variable in their topographic termination patterns.

    • Bryan M. Hooks
    • , Andrew E. Papale
    •  & Charles R. Gerfen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Basal ganglia can both facilitate or inhibit movement through excitatory and inhibitory pathways; however whether these opposing signals are dynamically regulated during behavior is not known. Here the authors use multinucleus LFP recordings and electrical microstimulation in monkeys performing saccade based tasks to show task specific changes in the tonic weighting of these pathways.

    • Jay J. Jantz
    • , Masayuki Watanabe
    •  & Douglas P. Munoz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Surprising events affect ongoing behaviour and cognitive processing, yet the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear. Wessel and colleagues show that surprise recruits a motor suppression mechanism which may be implemented via the sub-thalamic nucleus and interrupts working memory performance.

    • Jan R. Wessel
    • , Ned Jenkinson
    •  & Adam R. Aron
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The striatum is required for evoking contraversive movements from each brain hemisphere, but it is unclear how. Here, Tecuapetla et al.use optogenetics to inhibit direct and indirect downstream striatal projection pathways, and show that activity in both pathways is necessary for contraversive movements.

    • Fatuel Tecuapetla
    • , Sara Matias
    •  & Rui M. Costa