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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2010 Dec;20(6):704-16. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2010.08.022. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Basal ganglia contributions to motor control: a vigorous tutor.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurobiology, Systems Neuroscience Institute and Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. rturner@pitt.edu

Abstract

The roles of the basal ganglia (BG) in motor control are much debated. Many influential hypotheses have grown from studies in which output signals of the BG were not blocked, but pathologically disturbed. A weakness of that approach is that the resulting behavioral impairments reflect degraded function of the BG per se mixed together with secondary dysfunctions of BG-recipient brain areas. To overcome that limitation, several studies have focused on the main skeletomotor output region of the BG, the globus pallidus internus (GPi). Using single-cell recording and inactivation protocols these studies provide consistent support for two hypotheses: the BG modulates movement performance ('vigor') according to motivational factors (i.e. context-specific cost/reward functions) and the BG contributes to motor learning. Results from these studies also add to the problems that confront theories positing that the BG selects movement, inhibits unwanted motor responses, corrects errors on-line, or stores and produces well-learned motor skills.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20850966
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3025075
Free PMC Article

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