The Tail of the Striatum: From Anatomy to Connectivity and Function

Trends Neurosci. 2021 Mar;44(3):203-214. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2020.10.016. Epub 2020 Nov 23.


The dorsal striatum, the largest subcortical structure of the basal ganglia, is critical in controlling motor, procedural, and reinforcement-based behaviors. Although in mammals the striatum extends widely along the rostro-caudal axis, current knowledge and derived theories about its anatomo-functional organization largely rely on results obtained from studies of its rostral sectors, leading to potentially oversimplified working models of the striatum as a whole. Recent findings indicate that the extreme caudal part of the striatum, also referred to as the tail of striatum (TS), represents an additional functional domain. Here, we provide an overview of past and recent studies revealing that the TS displays a heterogeneous cell-type-specific organization, and a unique input-output connectivity, which poises the TS as an integrator of sensory processing.

Keywords: dopamine receptors; psychostimulants; reward and aversive behaviors; striatal heterogeneity; striatal projection neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basal Ganglia*
  • Corpus Striatum*