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Basal Ganglia

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The basal ganglia are associated with a variety of functions, including voluntary motor control, procedural learning relating to routine behaviors or "habits" such as bruxism, eye movements, and cognitive, emotional functions.

Currently popular theories implicate the basal ganglia primarily in action selection, that is, the decision of which of several possible behaviors to execute at a given time.

The Basal Ganglia play an important role in planning and coordinating motor movements and posture. Complex neural connections link the Basal Ganglia with the Cerebral Cortex. It is strongly connected with the cerebral cortex, thalamus and other brain areas.

The basal ganglia act on a subconscious level, requiring no conscious effort to function.

Major elements:

Striatum (Dorsal Striatum: Putamen, Caudate, Ventral Striatum: Nucleus accumbens, Olfactory tubercle).
The striatum is best known for its role in the planning and modulation of movement pathways but is also potentially involved in a variety of other cognitive processes involving executive function, such as working memory. In humans the striatum is activated by stimuli associated with reward, but also by aversive, novel, unexpected or intense stimuli, and cues associated with such events.

Globus pallidus regulates movements which occur on the subconscious level. Inhibitory action which balances the excitatory action of the cerebellum.

“Go” and “NoGo”: Learning and the Basal Ganglia. Many human behaviors—perhaps more than we would like to think—are, in essence, reflexes programmed into our brains when we are rewarded or punished for taking a particular action.

“Go” and “NoGo”: Learning and the Basal Ganglia

New research is showing how the basal ganglia, deep inside the brain below the cortex, are important in learning from feedback, in the formation of good and bad habits, and even in brain disorders as diverse as Parkinson’s disease, ADHD, and addiction. Basal Ganglia.

A bit modified. But quite content with it for now. Gonna work it out. – weihler

Functional connectivity of the human caudate. Dopamine and serotonin pathways. Striatal Dopamine: Nature or Nurture? -- by Nina Lincoff The Gist Nature or nurture is a common question in all forms of science, including neuroscience.

Genetic striatal dopamine affects the sensorimotor striatum, while individual environmental factors affect the limbic striatum. Brain moderation of movement is therefore more likely to be affected by hereditary striatal dopamine, while reward and motivation neurological structures are more likely affected by individual environmental experiences. Previous studies have shown that the limbic area of the striatum is important for addictions and reward, and that the sensorimotor part for habit formation. “Our study confirms that individual environmental effects—such as everyday experiences in adolescence and adulthood—have a strong influence over limbic dopamine function and that genetic inheritance strongly influences sensorimotor dopamine function”. – weihler

Striatal dopamine is an important neurochemical that affects behavior and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Striatal Dopamine: Nature or Nurture?

In healthy populations, dopaminergic function is associated with personality traits, social status, and cognitive function. For less healthy individuals, it can correspond with disorders like schizophrenia and addiction. In a recent study published by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers found that inherited striatal dopamine characteristics are strongest in the sensorimotor striatum, while individual environmental factors show greatest effect in the limbic striatum.

Striatum, Dopamine, Interpretation of Earnings.

Explanation of post-earnings announcement drift: Found out that nice surprises are associated with greater dopamine activity in the ventral striatum while disappointments were associated with less. This is consistent with investors regarding good earnings news as a reward and bad news as a punishment. Share price moves were more closely correlated with brain activity than they were with the size of the earnings' surprise. If investors regard the good news as too noisy to be relied upon, or if they stick to their Bayesian prior that the company is a bad one, there will be no great dopamine release. In these cases, share prices will underreact to good news, which means they could drift upwards later. What matters for share prices is not so much what companies actually do as how our brains respond. – weihler

Thinking, Fast and Slow. Thinking, Fast and Slow. Kooperation und Koordination, Spieltheorie. Manager sind echte Pragmatiker. Führungskräfte müssen täglich eine Vielzahl von Entscheidungen treffen (Foto: shutterstock-Dusit).

Manager entscheiden mehr auf Basis von festen Regeln und Gewohnheiten (Basalganglien), Nicht-Manager auf Basis von Denkprozessen (PFC). – weihler

Ob Aktienhandel, Einkaufskonditionen oder Lagerlogistik: Manager haben täglich eine Vielzahl von Entscheidungen zu treffen.

Manager sind echte Pragmatiker

Dazu nutzen sie andere neuronale Netzwerke im Gehirn als Nicht-Manager. Dies belegten die JARA-BRAIN Wissenschaftlerin Dr. Svenja Caspers und ihr Team gemeinsam mit Wirtschaftspsychologen und -soziologen der Universität Köln. Führungskräfte aktivieren vor allem ein Gehirnareal, das eine zweck- und zeitoptimierte Lösung auf Basis von Erfahrungswerten unterstützt. Probanden mussten im Magnetresonanztomographen 540 Entscheidungen in 22 Minuten treffen Manager und Nicht-Manager aktivieren unterschiedliche neuronale Entscheidungssysteme. How Do Habits Help Your Business.

Habits are one of the ways the brain learns complex behaviors. In order to allow us to focus our attention on obtaining new insights, neuroscientists believe habitual behaviors are moved to the basal ganglia, an area of the brain associated with actions requiring little or no cognition. Habits form when the brain takes a shortcut and stops actively deliberating about the decision being made. The brain quickly learns to codify behaviors that provide a solution to whatever problem it encounters. Research on people with an impaired basal ganglia - the part in your brain that stores your instinctual habitual learning – discovered that they have trouble making emotional decisions, ignoring insignificant details and acting quickly ‘from the gut.’ Automaticity is a function of two critical factors: frequency (how often the behavior occurs) and perceived utility (how rewarding the behavior is in the eyes of the user). – weihler

How Do Companies Develop Habit-Forming Products? CFOs Surveyed on Earnings Quality, Management and the FASB. Just what do CFOs think about earnings quality, management and manipulation, as well as the direction of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)?

When it comes to earnings quality, a standard definition has been difficult to come by, the paper notes. To the contrary, a multitude of possibilities exist, such as the predictability of earnings or the degree to which one firm’s earnings beat a recognized benchmark. However, the CFOs responding to the survey tended to focus on earnings that are sustainable, repeatable, reflect long term trends, are free of one-time items and are backed by actual cash flows. At the same time, CFOs estimate that about half of earnings quality is driven by factors beyond a management team’s control, such as macro-economic conditions or the health of the industry in which the firm competes. – weihler

Through surveys completed by 169 CFOs, as well as in-depth interviews with a dozen CFOs, Ilia Dichev and Shiva Rajgopal of Emory University, and John Graham and Campbell R.

CFOs Surveyed on Earnings Quality, Management and the FASB

Harvey of Duke University attempted to find out. Their conclusions are presented in the paper, “Earnings Quality: Evidence from the Field.” When it comes to earnings quality, a standard definition has been difficult to come by, the paper notes. Praxis Report - RLS. Brain researchers look for cause of restless legs syndrome. Researchers have found that people with restless legs syndrome – a disorder that causes a powerful urge to move the legs, particularly at night – have reduced function in an area of the brain important for controlling movement.

The pathogenesis of RLS and PLMS remains largely unknown. Radiological and pharmacological findings have provided indirect evidence of dopaminergic system abnormalities. It has been suggested that this dysfunction can be mediated by low brain iron levels since iron is needed as a cofactor for tyrosine hydroxylase (the rate limiting enzyme in the synthesis of dopamine) and because the D2 receptor is a protein containing iron. Additional evidence comes from a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study that found decreased iron levels in the substantia nigra and, to a lesser degree, in the putamen of patients with idiopathic RLS. – weihler

Preliminary results from a new study at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) suggest that people with this disorder have up to 80 percent less function in this brain region compared with healthy people.

Brain researchers look for cause of restless legs syndrome

"This is a disorder that is thought to affect 1 in 20 people, and can severely affect quality of life, but we still don't know very much about it," says neuroscientist Assoc Prof Kay Double. "This study is helping us understand what happens in the brain to cause these symptoms, which will help us find better treatments," she says. These brain MRIs are of a healthy person (left) and a person with restless legs syndrome (right). The placebo-reward hypothesis. Just One Drink Increases Brain's Functional Connectivity.

Researchers monitored resting brain activity in healthy social drinkers who had consumed one drink, and found a significant increase in the activity of GABA. – weihler