Short-term and long-term plasticity at corticostriatal synapses: Implications for learning and memory

Massimiliano Di Filippo, Barbara Picconi, Michela Tantucci, Veronica Ghiglieri, Vincenza Bagetta, Carmelo Sgobio, Alessandro Tozzi, Lucilla Parnetti, Paolo Calabresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The striatum is the major division of the basal ganglia, representing the input station of the circuit and arguably the principal site within the basal ganglia where information processing occurs. Striatal activity is critically involved in motor control and learning. Many parts of the striatum are involved in reward processing and in various forms of learning and memory, such as reward-association learning. Moreover, the striatum appears to be a brain center for habit formation and is likely to be involved in advanced stages of addiction. The critical role played by the striatum in learning and cognitive processes is thought to be based on changes in neuronal activity when specific behavioral tasks are being learned. Accordingly, excitatory corticostriatal synapses onto both striatal projecting spiny neurons and interneurons are able to undergo the main forms of synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation, long-term depression, short-term forms of intrinsic plasticity and spike timing-dependent plasticity. These specific forms of neuroplasticity allow the short-term and long-term selection and differential amplification of cortical neural signals modulating the processes of motor and behavioral selection within the basal ganglia neural circuit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-118
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 12 2009


  • Basal ganglia
  • Long-term depression
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Memory
  • Striatum
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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