Editor’s Comment – Volume 18 No 1
In this issue, the involvement of the basal ganglia, especially striatum, in decision making and reward is addressed from a variety of perspectives. In fact, the basal ganglia have become a key element in many important behaviors that are of interest in psychiatry.
Suzanne Haber describes how cortico-striatal connections play a central role in developing appropriate goal-directed behaviors, including the motivation and cognition to develop appropriate actions to obtain a specific outcome. Ann Graybiel and Kyle Smith give us a rich understanding of brain networks that promote habits, and also help us to understand what constitutes a habitual behavior as opposed to a behavior that is more flexible and prospective. Andreas Heinz and colleagues summarize how dopamine plays a critical role in these networks. Shirley Fecteau et al and Angela Sirigu and Jean-René Duhamel emphasize decision-making skills which are crucial in everyday life, and Wolfram Schultz reminds us that reward prediction errors are important for basic forms of learning about rewards which are involved, for example, in addictive behaviors. Peggy Nopoulos and Krystal Parker et al have focused on neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease, which are interesting as models of basal ganglia dysfunction. Finally, Benjamin and Peter Kalivas and Georg Juckel discuss the potential role of treatments on dopamine and glutamate levels in this region.
March 2016 - Vol 18 - No. 1
Diseases of the Dorsal and Ventral Striatum
In This issue
State of the art