The arbitration-extension hypothesis: A hierarchical interpretation of the functional organization of the basal ganglia
2011 (English)In: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5137, Vol. 5, 13- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Based on known anatomy and physiology, we present a hypothesis where the basal ganglia motor loop is hierarchically organized in two main subsystems: the arbitration system and the extension system. The arbitration system, comprised of the subthalamic nucleus, globus pallidus, and pedunculopontine nucleus, serves the role of selecting one out of several candidate actions as they are ascending from various brain stem motor regions and aggregated in the centromedian thalamus or descending from the extension system or from the cerebral cortex. This system is an action-input/action-output system whose winner-take-all mechanism finds the strongest response among several candidates to execute. This decision is communicated back to the brain stem by facilitating the desired action via cholinergic/glutamatergic projections and suppressing conflicting alternatives via GABAergic connections. The extension system, comprised of the striatum and, again, globus pallidus, can extend the repertoire of responses by learning to associate novel complex states to certain actions. This system is a state-input/action-output system, whose organization enables it to encode arbitrarily complex Boolean logic rules using striatal neurons that only fire given specific constellations of inputs (Boolean AND) and pallidal neurons that are silenced by any striatal input (Boolean OR). We demonstrate the capabilities of this hierarchical system by a computational model where a simulated generic "animal" interacts with an environment by selecting direction of movement based on combinations of sensory stimuli, some being appetitive, others aversive or neutral. While the arbitration system can autonomously handle conflicting actions proposed by brain stem motor nuclei, the extension system is required to execute learned actions not suggested by external motor centers. Being precise in the functional role of each component of the system, this hypothesis generates several readily testable predictions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 5, 13- p.
Action selection, Basal ganglia, Boolean logic, Brain stem, Centromedian parafascicular thalamus, Motor synergies, Pedunculopontine nucleus, Winner-take-all
Bioinformatics (Computational Biology)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-39201DOI: 10.3389/fnsys.2011.00013PubMedID: 21441994ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84855971284OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-39201DiVA: diva2:439621
QC 201110042011-09-082011-09-082016-04-12Bibliographically approved