The Basal Nuclei

Terence P. Ma, Howard L. Geyer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Voluntary movement is essential to the well-being of living animals. Such behaviors are accomplished by signals that direct the actions of individual muscles. Although these signals originate in the cerebral cortex, they are modulated by a variety of subcortical structures. One such group of structures is the basal nuclei and their functionally associated cell groups. Classically, motor systems have been divided into pyramidal and extrapyramidal on the basis of whether the pathway is mediated by corticofugal neurons (pyramidal) or by the basal nuclei, cerebellum, or pathways originating in brainstem (extrapyramidal). However, this distinction is overly simplistic if not inaccurate. Consequently, it is not used here. The basal nuclei are involved in a wide variety of motor and affective behaviors, in sensorimotor integration, and in cognitive functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFundamental Neuroscience for Basic and Clinical Applications
Subtitle of host publicationFifth Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
ISBN (Print)9780323396325
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Basal nuclei
  • Caudate
  • Globus pallidus
  • Movement disorders
  • Putamen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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