Basal Ganglia: Acetylcholine Interactions and Behavior

M. Deffains, A. Adler, M. Joshua, J. A. Goldberg, G. Morris, H. Bergman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Neuromodulation of neuronal activity in the striatum-the main input stage of the basal ganglia-is mediated by dopamine and acetylcholine. Striatal acetylcholine is provided by cholinergic interneurons, which constitute 1-2% of the striatal neuronal population. In vivo, these neurons exhibit a tonic irregular discharge and show strong and homogeneous responses, typically a transient depression, to reward-related events. This depression is usually followed or flanked by increases in discharge rate and is coincident with the phasic excitatory responses of midbrain dopamine neurons. Together, dopamine and acetylcholine control striatal cellular learning and enable behavioral responses and learning triggered by salient events.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Neuroscience
ISBN (Electronic)9780128093245
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Acetylcholine
  • Attention
  • Basal ganglia
  • Behavior
  • Interneurons
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Reward
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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