|Title||Anatomy of a songbird basal ganglia circuit essential for vocal learning and plasticity|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||Submitted|
|Authors||Gale SD, Perkel DJ|
|Journal||J Chem Neuroanat|
|ISBN Number||1873-6300 (Electronic)0891-0618 (Linking)|
|Keywords||Animals, Basal Ganglia/anatomy & histology/cytology/*physiology, Birds/*physiology, Brain/anatomy & histology/physiology, Catecholamines/physiology, Globus Pallidus/anatomy & histology/physiology, Learning/*physiology, Neural Pathways/anatomy & histology/physiology, Neuronal Plasticity/*physiology, Neurons/physiology, Thalamus/cytology/physiology, Washington|
Vocal learning in songbirds requires an anatomically discrete and functionally dedicated circuit called the anterior forebrain pathway (AFP). The AFP is homologous to cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loops in mammals. The basal ganglia portion of this pathway, Area X, shares many features characteristic of the mammalian striatum and pallidum, including cell types and connectivity. The AFP also deviates from mammalian basal ganglia circuits in fundamental ways. In addition, the microcircuitry, role of neuromodulators, and function of Area X are still unclear. Elucidating the mechanisms by which both mammalian-like and unique features of the AFP contribute to vocal learning may help lead to a broad understanding of the sensorimotor functions of basal ganglia circuits.