Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Synaptic processing in the basal ganglia  

The pathway needed for learning song in songbirds involves the basal ganglia, a set of brain regions known in mammals to be important for motor control, motor learning and a variety of cognitive functions. Because of the relatively simple circuitry for song learning, understanding vocal learning in songbirds may provide general insights into learning mechanisms in mammals, including humans. Specifically, this project will explore cellular mechanisms underlying information transfer and processing through the learning circuit. The experiments will use electrophysiological and neuroanatomical approaches to understand the structural, functional and molecular components of the wiring of this pathway. The results will increase knowledge of the role of the basal ganglia in cognitive processes such as learning and ultimately may shed light on disorders in which the basal ganglia are implicated, such as autism and schizophrenia. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $382,323.00
Current Award Period 2009-2013
Project Number 5R01MH066128-07
Principal Investigator Perkel, David
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Subcategory Neural Systems
Strategic Plan Objective 2O. Not specific to Question 2 objectives
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution University of Washington
State/Country Washington
Web Link 1 Synaptic processing in the basal ganglia (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Synaptic processing in the basal ganglia | $392,444.00 | 2009 | 2R01MH066128-06A2