Functional Anatomy of Basal Ganglia Circuits with the Cerebral Cortex and the Cerebellum

Prog Neurol Surg. 2018;33:50-61. doi: 10.1159/000480748. Epub 2018 Jan 12.


The neural connections of the basal ganglia provide important insights into their function. Here, we discuss the current perspective on basal ganglia connections with the cerebral cortex and with the cerebellum. We review the evidence that the basal ganglia participate in functionally segregated circuits with motor and non-motor areas of the cerebral cortex. We then discuss the data that the basal ganglia are interconnected with the cerebellum. These results provide the anatomical substrate for basal ganglia contributions not only to the control of movement, but also to a variety of cognitive and affective functions. Furthermore, these findings indicate that abnormal activity in basal ganglia circuits with the cerebral cortex and with the cerebellum may contribute to both motor and non-motor deficits associated with several neurologic and psychiatric conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Basal Ganglia / physiology*
  • Basal Ganglia / physiopathology
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Cerebellum / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Movement Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology