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Cortico-Subcortical Re-Entrant Circuit

Synonyms

Basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit; Cortical-basal ganglia circuit; Basal ganglia-thalamocortical loop

Definition

Cortico-subcortical re-entrant circuits are composed of a series of connections that start in a particular part of the cerebral cortex and lead via subsequent steps in the basal ganglia and the thalamus back to the same part of the cortex. More in particular, cytoarchitectonically and functionally distinct cortical areas in the frontal lobe form the focal point of these circuits. Each frontal cortical area projects to a specific region of the striatum and that striatal region projects via the globus pallidus or substantia nigra to a particular thalamic nucleus or part thereof. This part of the thalamus, in turn, is in reciprocal connection with the original frontal cortical area, closing the circuit (Fig. 1).
Cortico-Subcortical Re-Entrant Circuit. Figure 1 Basic diagram