Thalamic contributions to basal ganglia-related behavioral switching and reinforcement

Yoland Smith*, D. James Surmeier, Peter Redgrave, Minoru Kimura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Although the existence of prominent connections between the intralaminar thalamic nuclei and the basal ganglia has long been established, the limited knowledge of the functional relevance of this network has considerably hampered progress in our understanding of the neural mechanisms by which the thalamostriatal system integrates and regulates the basal ganglia circuitry. In this brief commentary, we will address this gap of knowledge through a discussion of the key points of a symposium entitled "Thalamic Contributions to Basal Ganglia-Related Behavioral Switching and Reinforcement" that will be presented at the 2011 Society for Neuroscience meeting. Recent anatomical and physiological data that support the role of the thalamostriatal system in action selection, attentional shifting, and reinforcement will be discussed.Wewill also address the possibility that degeneration of the thalamostriatal system could underlie some of the deficits in redirection of attention in response to salient stimuli seen in Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16102-16106
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 9 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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