Basal Ganglia: The Centers of Movement
Silvia Helena Cardoso, PhD
Horizontal section from the Visible Human
The basal ganglia refer to a group of closely connected structures including the striatum (the caudate and the putamen), the globus pallidus, the substantia nigra and the subthalamic nucleus.
It seems to be generally agreed that the basal ganglia have something to do with the creation and execution of motor plans. Just watch a person with a typical basal ganglion affliction, such as Parkinson's disease, characterized by difficulty in starting or stopping the walking sequence, and realize how profundly these nuclei are involved in daily life.
In addition to their role in control of movement and posture, it now appears that the basal ganglia also play a more complex (cognitive) aspects of behavior and may be involved in limbic functions.
They are responsible not only for the integration of motor activity but probably also for the programming, beginning and termination of such activity.
There are other definitions of the term basal ganglia: the archistriatum, the paleostriatum, and the neostriatum.
||consists of the||Amygdala|
(paleo = ancient ) or "pallidum"
is the forerunner of the mammalian corpus striatum
|consists of the||Globus
(neo = new) This is a phylogenetically new component
of the brain. It appears in the reptilian brain and forms
the largest part of the corpus striatum in mammals.
|consists of the||Caudate
Neurons in caudate and putamen are basically
The Components the Basal Ganglia
Author: Dr. Silvia Helena Cardoso, PhD. Psychobiologist, master and doctor in Sciences by the University of São Paulo and post doctoral fellowship by the University of California, Los Angeles. Invited Professor and Associate Researcher of the Center for Biomedical Informatics, State University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil.
Center for Biomedical Informatics
State University of Campinas, Brazil
Copyright 1997 State University of Campinas