chapter  5
15 Pages

The search for madness: A metaphasical trip through the basal ganglia


The basal ganglia as a super-hub The basal ganglia (striatum, globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus, substantianigra and pedunculopontine nucleus) are a major functional “hub” within the CNS. The striatum receives massive input from the whole neocortex, from limbic and pre-limbic cortices and from the hippocampal complex and basolateral amygdala. In short, much of its input stems from other major CNS hubs. This indicates that the basal ganglia are involved in integrating highly pre-processed as opposed to “raw” sensory information. Although classically considered to have a role in motor processing, it has become clear that the basal ganglia are important in thinking and emotion (Pennartz et al., 2009).