2 main jobs: 1) helping motor cortex execute PATTERNS of complex movements 2) Helping cortex plan (‘think’) complex motor movements
Note the internal capsule tucked in between basal ganglia, cortex and thalamus
the putamen circuit has its inputs mainly from those parts of the brain adjacent to the primary motor cortex but not much from the primary motor cortex itself. Then its outputs do go mainly back to the primary motor cortex or closely associated premotor and supplementary cortex. Functioning in close association with this primary putamen circuit are ancillary circuits that pass from the putamen through the external globus pallidus, the subthalamus, and the substantia nigra—finally returning to the motor cortex by way of the thalamus.
concerned with putting together sequential patterns of movement lasting 5 or more seconds instead of exciting individual muscle movements.
Ref: berne p190-191…xcellent circuit diagrams of basal ganglia in parkinson and huntington’s
*Parkinsonism is also seen as a complication of treatment with the phenothiazine group of tranquilizer drugs and other drugs that block D2 receptors. It can be produced in rapid and dramatic form by injection of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). This effect was discovered by chance when a drug dealer in northern California supplied some of his clients with a homemade preparation of synthetic heroin that contained MPTP. MPTP is a prodrug that is metabolized in astrocytes by the enzyme MOA-B to produce a potent oxidant, 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+). In rodents, MPP+ is rapidly removed from the brain, but in primates it is removed more slowly and is taken up by the dopamine transporter into dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, which it destroys without affecting other dopaminergic neurons to any appreciable degree. Consequently, MPTP can be used to produce parkinsonism in monkeys, and its availability has accelerated research on the function of the basal ganglia.