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Neuroreport. 2000 Nov 9;11(16):3641-5.

Basal ganglia involvement in memory-guided movement sequencing.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5719, USA.


The basal ganglia (BG) are thought to play a critical role in motor planning and movement sequencing. While electrophysiological and imaging studies have shown that the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is involved in working memory (WM), the involvement of the BG in this process is not well understood. We used a motor sequencing task to investigate the differential role of BG nuclei in memory-guided movement. Significant activation was observed in the DLPFC and posterior putamen and globus pallidus (GP), with a trend in the caudate and no differences in the anterior putamen. We then investigated the effect of BG outflow on thalamic activation using functional connectivity analysis. Activation in the posterior putamen + GP was found to be correlated with thalamic activation only in the hemisphere contralateral to movement. These results provide the first fMRI evidence that the BG may modulate activity in the thalamus during working memory-guided movement sequencing. Our findings suggest that the BG activation may reflect increased motor sequencing demands during the memory-guided movement condition and, specifically, that the posterior putamen and GP may play a role in maintenance of representations in WM in a manner that contributes to planning and temporal organization of motor sequencing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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