A Model for the Functioning of the Striatum
A model is presented for the operation of the striatum. The model posits that the basal ganglia are responsible for driving smooth transitions of state for an organism. We propose that this is accomplished through the computation of a potential function within the striatum on which a gradient descent is performed toward the goal state. The model suggests that various somatotopic regions of the striatum correspond to state spaces, each of which pertains to a different aspect of the organism. This paper discusses this model only in the context of motor control, i.e., egomotion and limb movement. The model appears to account for a variety of experimental results, and for some unusual properties of the striatum. 1 Introduction The basal ganglia have been one of the more enigmatic structures in the brain. While they have been extensively studied (DeLong and Georgopoulos 1981; Wilson, et al. 1990; Kandel, et al. 1991), and have been very clearly implicated in motor function (Yahr 1...