This volume is the first comprehensive and single-authored book on the functions of the basal ganglia. The goal is to provide a new synthesis of diverse areas of research on the basal ganglia, from cellular mechanisms of synaptic transmission and plasticity to neural circuit mechanisms underlying behavior. A global theory of basal ganglia function incorporating research from the last 40 years is presented. I hope to explain for the first time how the basal ganglia generate behavior, how they contribute to learning and memory, and how impairments in basal ganglia function can lead to neurological and psychiatric disorders.


  • The only single-authored book on the basal ganglia with coverage of the latest literature
  • Spans multiple levels of analysis, from cellular physiology to behavior
  • Includes coverage of clinical symptoms, encompassing neuropsychology, movement disorders, and psychiatric disorders
  • Discusses the role of the basal ganglia in learning and memory

chapter 1|13 pages


chapter 4|21 pages

Current Ideas on BG Function

chapter 5|14 pages

Behavior and Control

chapter 6|24 pages

The Place of the BG in the Hierarchy

chapter 7|22 pages

Transition Control

chapter 8|24 pages

Higher-Order Transitions and Cognition

chapter 9|20 pages


chapter 10|23 pages

Actions and Goals

chapter 12|21 pages

Dopamine and Reinforcement Learning

chapter 13|15 pages

Reorganization, Exploration, and Plasticity

chapter 14|20 pages

Interpretation of Clinical Symptoms

chapter 15|12 pages