{1144} revision 2 modified: 02-28-2012 01:29 gmt

PMID-15242667 Anatomical funneling, sparse connectivity and redundancy reduction in the neural networks of the basal ganglia

  • Major attributes of the BG:
    • Numerical reduction in the number of neurons across layers of the 'feed forward' (wrong!) network,
    • lateral inhibitory connections within the layers
    • modulatory effects of dopamine and acetylcholine.
  • Stochastic decision making task in monkeys.
  • Dopamine and ACh deliver different messages. DA much more specific.
  • Output nuclei of BG show uncorrelated activity.
    • THey see this as a means of compression -- more likely it is a training signal.
  • Striatum:
    • each striatal projection neuron receives 5300 cortico-striatal synapses; the dendritic fields of same contains 4e5 axons.
    • Say that a typical striatal neuron is spherical (?).
    • Striatal dendritic tree is very dense, whereas pallidal dendritic tree is sparse, with 4 main and 13 tips.
    • A striatal axon provides 240 synapses in the pallidum and makes 10 contacts with one pallidal neuron on average.
  • I don't necessarily disagree with the information-compression hypothesis, but I don't disagree either.
    • Learning seems a more likely hypothesis; could be that we fail to see many effects due to the transient nature of the signals, but I cannot do a thorough literature search on this.

PMID-15233923 Coincident but distinct messages of midbrain dopamine and striatal tonically active neurons.

  • Same task as above.
  • both ACh (putatively, TANs in this study) and DA neurons respond to reward related events.
  • dopamine neurons' response reflects mismatch between expectation and outcome in the positive domain
  • TANs are invariant to reward predictability.
  • TANs are synchronized; most DA neurons are not.
  • Striatum displays the densest staining in the CNS for dopamine (Lavoie et al 1989) and ACh (Holt et al 1997)
    • Depression of striatal acetylcholine can be used to treat PD (Pisani et al 2003).
    • Might be a DA/ ACh balance problem (Barbeau 1962).
  • Deficit of either DA or ACh has been shown to disrupt reward-related learning processes. (Kitabatake et al 2003, Matsumoto 1999, Knowlton et al 1996).
  • Upon reward, dopaminergic neurons increase firing rate, whereas ACh neurons pause.
  • Primates show overshoot -- for a probabalistic relative reward, they saturate anything above 0.8 probability to 1. Rats and pigeons do not show this effect (figure 2 F).