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Striosomes and Matrisomes: Scaffolds for Dynamic Coupling of Volition and Action

Striosomes form neurochemically specialized compartments of the striatum embedded in a large matrix made up of modules called matrisomes. Striosome-matrix architecture is multiplexed with the canonical direct-indirect organization of the striatum. Striosomal functions remain to be fully clarified, but key information is emerging. First, striosomes powerfully innervate nigral dopamine-containing neurons and can completely shut down their activity, with a following rebound excitation. Second, striosomes receive limbic- and cognitive-related corticostriatal afferents and are dynamically modulated in relation to value-based actions. Third, striosomes are spatially interspersed among matrisomes and interneurons and are influenced by local and global neuromodulatory and oscillatory activities. Fourth, striosomes tune engagement and the motivation to perform reinforcement learning, to manifest stereotypical behaviors, and to navigate valence conflicts and valence discriminations. We suggest that, at an algorithmic level, striosomes could serve as distributed scaffolds to provide formats of the striatal computations generated through development and refined through learning. We propose that striosomes affect subjective states. By transforming corticothalamic and other inputs to the functional formats of the striatum, they could implement state transitions in nigro-striato-nigral circuits to affect bodily and cognitive actions according to internal motives whose functions are compromised in neuropsychiatric conditions. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Neuroscience, Volume 46 is July 2023. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

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