The basal ganglia (BG) play a critical role in a variety of functions that are essential for animal survival. Information from different cortical areas propagates through the BG in anatomically segregated circuits along the parallel direct and indirect pathways. We examined how the globus pallidus (GP), a nucleus within the indirect pathway, encodes input from the motor and cognitive domains. We chronically recorded and analyzed neuronal activity in the GP of male rats engaged in a novel environment exposure task. GP neurons displayed multidimensional responses to movement and contextual information. A model predicting single unit activity required many task-related behavioral variables, thus confirming the multidimensionality of GP neurons. In addition, populations of GP neurons, but not single units, reliably encoded the animals’ locomotion speed and the environmental novelty. We posit that the GP independently processes information from different domains, effectively compresses it and collectively conveys it to successive nuclei.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 1786/16 ) and by the SYNCH project funded by the European Commission under the H2020 FET Proactive program (Grant agreement ID: 824162 ).
© 2022 The Author(s)
- Behavioral neuroscience
- Cellular neuroscience