Dichotomous activity and function of neurons with low- and high-frequency discharge in the external globus pallidus of non-human primates

Cell Rep. 2023 Jan 31;42(1):111898. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111898. Epub 2023 Jan 2.


To date, there is a consensus that there are at least two neuronal populations in the non-human primate (NHP) external globus pallidus (GPe): low-frequency discharge (LFD) and high-frequency discharge (HFD) neurons. Nevertheless, almost all NHP physiological studies have neglected the functional importance of LFD neurons. This study examined the discharge features of these two GPe neuronal subpopulations recorded in four NHPs engaged in a classical conditioning task with cues predicting reward, neutral and aversive outcomes. The results show that LFD neurons tended to burst, encoded the salience of behavioral cues, and exhibited correlated spiking activity. By contrast, the HFD neurons tended to pause, encoded cue valence, and exhibited uncorrelated spiking activity. Overall, these findings point to the dichotomic organization of the NHP GPe, which is likely to be critical to the implementation of normal basal ganglia functions and computations.

Keywords: CP: Neuroscience; basal ganglia; behavior; dichotomous organization; electrophysiology; globus pallidus; information processing; non-human primates; single-unit recordings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basal Ganglia
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology
  • Globus Pallidus* / physiology
  • Neurons* / physiology
  • Primates