Templates for Neural Dynamics in the Striatum: Striosomes and Matrisomes

Ann M. Graybiel

in Handbook of Brain Microcircuits

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195389883
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965137 | DOI:
Templates for Neural Dynamics in the Striatum: Striosomes and Matrisomes

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The striatum appears to be a relatively simple forebrain region when compared to the overlying neocortex with its horizontal layers and vertical columns. In fact, however, the striatum in mammals has a sophisticated architecture. This large subcortical region is now suspected of having a major influence on how the neocortex carries out its own functions—even functions related to human language. Furthermore, abnormalities in the striatum are increasingly being discovered in human disorders affecting cognitive as well as motor functions. It is, as a consequence, increasingly difficult to see the neocortex as a “higher structure”and the striatum as a “lower structure” in ranking their influence on behavior. This chapter suggests that the functional architecture of the striatum provides a physical template for dynamic plasticity in striatal networks. It then proposes that this dynamic plasticity may be key to understanding how the basal ganglia influence the neocortex as well as downstream action systems of the brain: first, by promoting adaptive behavioral flexibility, and second, by allowing the forebrain to create, as a result, chunked cognitive and motor action patterns.

Chapter.  2099 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

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