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Publication Summary and Abstract

Redgrave, P., Prescott, T.J. & Gurney, K. (1999), The basal ganglia: a vertebrate solution to the selection problem?, Neuroscience, 89:1009-1023.

A selection problem arises whenever two or more competing systems seek simultaneous access to a restricted resource. Consideration of several selection architectures suggests there are significant advantages for systems which incorporate a central switching mechanism. We propose that the vertebrate basal ganglia have evolved as a centralised selection device, specialised to resolve conflicts over access to limited motor and cognitive resources. Analysis of basal ganglia functional architecture and its position within a wider anatomical framework suggests it can satisfy many of the requirements expected of an efficient selection mechanism.
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