Spatially Compact Neural Clusters in the Dorsal Striatum Encode Locomotion Relevant Information

Giovanni Barbera, Bo Liang, Lifeng Zhang, Charles R. Gerfen, Eugenio Culurciello, Rong Chen, Yun Li, Da Ting Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


An influential striatal model postulates that neural activities in the striatal direct and indirect pathways promote and inhibit movement, respectively. Normal behavior requires coordinated activity in the direct pathway to facilitate intended locomotion and indirect pathway to inhibit unwanted locomotion. In this striatal model, neuronal population activity is assumed to encode locomotion relevant information. Here, we propose a novel encoding mechanism for the dorsal striatum. We identified spatially compact neural clusters in both the direct and indirect pathways. Detailed characterization revealed similar cluster organization between the direct and indirect pathways, and cluster activities from both pathways were correlated with mouse locomotion velocities. Using machine-learning algorithms, cluster activities could be used to decode locomotion relevant behavioral states and locomotion velocity. We propose that neural clusters in the dorsal striatum encode locomotion relevant information and that coordinated activities of direct and indirect pathway neural clusters are required for normal striatal controlled behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-213
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 5 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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