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Front Syst Neurosci. 2013 Dec 6;7:104. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2013.00104. eCollection 2013.

The visual corticostriatal loop through the tail of the caudate: circuitry and function.

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Program in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO, USA.


Although high level visual cortex projects to a specific region of the striatum, the tail of the caudate, and participates in corticostriatal loops, the function of this visual corticostriatal system is not well understood. This article first reviews what is known about the anatomy of the visual corticostriatal loop across mammals, including rodents, cats, monkeys, and humans. Like other corticostriatal systems, the visual corticostriatal system includes both closed loop components (recurrent projections that return to the originating cortical location) and open loop components (projections that terminate in other neural regions). The article then reviews what previous empirical research has shown about the function of the tail of the caudate. The article finally addresses the possible functions of the closed and open loop connections of the visual loop in the context of theories and computational models of corticostriatal function.


Area TE; basal ganglia; category learning; caudate; corticostriatal; recurrent neural network; reinforcement learning; striatum

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