The striatal and pallidal complexes are basal ganglia structures that orchestrate learning and execution of flexible behavior. Models of how the basal ganglia subserve these functions have evolved considerably, and the advent of optogenetic and molecular tools has shed light on the heterogeneity of subcircuits within these pathways. However, a synthesis of how molecularly diverse neurons integrate into existing models of basal ganglia function is lacking. Here, we provide an overview of the neurochemical and molecular diversity of striatal and pallidal neurons and synthesize recent circuit connectivity studies in rodents that takes this diversity into account. We also highlight anatomical organizational principles that distinguish the dorsal and ventral basal ganglia pathways in rodents. Future work integrating the molecular and anatomical properties of striatal and pallidal subpopulations may resolve controversies regarding basal ganglia network function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


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