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J Theor Biol. 1988 Apr 21;131(4):497-507.

How does the brain control its own activity? A new function for the basal ganglia.

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  • St Thomas' Hospital, London, U.K.


It has long been a problem in neuroscience to known how the brain controls its own activity, how it is able to control the level of CNS excitability and how it is able to select and act on some information as opposed to some other information. In this paper I propose a new theory in which the basal ganglia play a role in selecting information ("selective attention") and in controlling the general level of excitability of the CNS ("state control"), the two processes being to some extent interdependent. The basal ganglia achieve these functions by actions on the thalamic-frontal cortical axis and on the brainstem mesencephalic reticular formation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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