Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition characterized not only by abnormalities in movement but also changes in motivation such as apathy and impulsivity. Patients living with PD have abnormal activity in an area deep in the brain known as the globus pallidus (GPe). Classically, the GPe has been considered a relay station within the indirect pathway of the basal ganglia, exerting an overall suppressive effect on movement. However, recent studies have shown that the GPe of mice and non-human primates contains heterogenous neural populations that receive and send inputs to diverse brain regions, including the cortex. This suggests a fast and direct mechanism by which GPe may modulate cortical activity to influence motivated behavior. However, it remains unknown how pallidocortical circuits causally contribute to motivated behavior and how they are disrupted in disorders of the basal ganglia. In this talk, I will discuss the anatomical, molecular and synaptic input properties of pallidocortical neurons and explore the role of GPe neurons in context and state-dependent regulation of motivated behavior.
Neurology/Neuroscience Research Seminar
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