Stanford Neurosciences Institute Seminar Series Presents
Development, structure, and function of synapses in the basal ganglia Bernardo Sabatini, PhD, MD Alice and Rodman W. Moorhead lll Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
Host: Kevin Beier
The basal ganglia are evolutionarily conserved subcortical nuclei that govern many aspects of motor action and reward reinforcement. Interactions among cortex, thalamus, and nuclei of the basal ganglia are thought to mediate action selection. Here we review recent findings from our laboratory that reveal that striatal synapses develop under the control of cortical and nigral inputs. Furthermore, these synapses operate within a highly recurrent network that sculpts its own development. We find that within basal ganglia projections there are many synapses that release several neurotransmitters, with highly specific target cells for each synapse class. We speculate as the importance of these findings in developmental neurological disorders as well as for the pathogenesis and treatment of adult neuropsychiatric disease.