Cell and circuit complexity of the external globus pallidus

Connor D. Courtney, Arin Pamukcu, C. Savio Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The external globus pallidus (GPe) of the basal ganglia has been underappreciated owing to poor understanding of its cells and circuits. It was assumed that the GPe consisted of a homogeneous neuron population primarily serving as a ‘relay station’ for information flowing through the indirect basal ganglia pathway. However, the advent of advanced tools in rodent models has sparked a resurgence in interest in the GPe. Here, we review recent data that have unveiled the cell and circuit complexity of the GPe. These discoveries have revealed that the GPe does not conform to traditional views of the basal ganglia. In particular, recent evidence confirms that the afferent and efferent connections of the GPe span both the direct and the indirect pathways. Furthermore, the GPe displays broad interconnectivity beyond the basal ganglia, consistent with its emerging multifaceted roles in both motor and non-motor functions. In summary, recent data prompt new proposals for computational rules of the basal ganglia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1159
Number of pages13
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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