The basal ganglia are a series of interconnected subcortical nuclei. The function and dysfunction of these nuclei have been studied intensively in motor control, but more recently our knowledge of these functions has broadened to include prominent roles in cognition and affective control. This review summarizes historical models of basal ganglia function, as well as findings supporting or conflicting with these models, while emphasizing recent work in animals and humans directly testing the hypotheses generated by these models.


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