Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Basal Ganglia Paths Support Acute vs. Learned Execution, Not Movement vs. Stopping

Version 1 : Received: 7 August 2018 / Approved: 8 August 2018 / Online: 8 August 2018 (04:47:36 UTC)

How to cite: Rappoport, A. Basal Ganglia Paths Support Acute vs. Learned Execution, Not Movement vs. Stopping. Preprints 2018, 2018080157 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201808.0157.v1). Rappoport, A. Basal Ganglia Paths Support Acute vs. Learned Execution, Not Movement vs. Stopping. Preprints 2018, 2018080157 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201808.0157.v1).

Abstract

The basal ganglia (BG) are a central component of the brain, crucial to the initiation, execution and learning of adaptive actions. The BG are the major site of the action of dopamine. An important aspect of the BG architecture is the existence of two paths, direct and indirect, having different projection targets and dopamine receptor expression. To understand the BG, dopamine, and related disorders, it is imperative to understand the two paths. The standard account used in neuroscience research for decades posits that the direct path supports movements, while the indirect path suppresses unselected or completed movements. This account is contradicted by converging evidence. Here, we explain why the arguments supporting the standard account are flawed, and present a new account, in which the role of the indirect path is completely opposite: to support learned execution. During acute events, ongoing execution is stopped, and the direct path allows coarse responses. These are refined by competition, and the resulting focused response is executed and learned by the indirect path, assisted by cholinergic interneurons. The new account allows a novel understanding of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and of its treatment by deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus.

Subject Areas

basal ganglia; dopamine; subthalamic nucleus; Parkinson's disease; brain learning; cholinergic interneurons; deep brain stimulation

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