Interaction between basal ganglia and limbic circuits in learning and memory processes

Paolo Calabresi, Barbara Picconi, Alessandro Tozzi, Veronica Ghiglieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hippocampus and striatum play distinctive roles in memory processes since declarative and non-declarative memory systems may act independently. However, hippocampus and striatum can also be engaged to function in parallel as part of a dynamic system to integrate previous experience and adjust behavioral responses. In these structures the formation, storage, and retrieval of memory require a synaptic mechanism that is able to integrate multiple signals and to translate them into persistent molecular traces at both the corticostriatal and hippocampal/limbic synapses. The best cellular candidate for this complex synthesis is represented by long-term potentiation (LTP). A common feature of LTP expressed in these two memory systems is the critical requirement of convergence and coincidence of glutamatergic and dopaminergic inputs to the dendritic spines of the neurons expressing this form of synaptic plasticity. In experimental models of Parkinson's disease abnormal accumulation of α-synuclein affects these two memory systems by altering two major synaptic mechanisms underlying cognitive functions in cholinergic striatal neurons, likely implicated in basal ganglia dependent operative memory, and in the CA1 hippocampal region, playing a central function in episodic/declarative memory processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S65-S68
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Cognition
  • Hippocampus
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Memory
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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