Role of the basal ganglia in self-timed movements

Summary

Date: 
May 8, 2018 - 12:00pm
Location: 
Northwest Building, Room 243
About the Speaker
Name: 
John Assad
Speaker Title: 
Professor
Speaker Affiliation: 
HMS, Dept. of Neurobiology

Movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease suggest that the basal ganglia (BG) are involved in movement initiation, but recent studies have more emphasized the role of the BG in action selection and motivated behavior. Using optical and electrophysiological methods in mice, we have investigated the role of the BG in initiating self-timed movements — movements that are not made in abrupt response to an external cue. Both the nigro-striatal and pallidal output systems show evidence for dynamic signals that suggest a specialized roles in self-timed movements.