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George E. Carvell, PhD, PT   University of Pittsburgh
 
BASAL GANGLIA: WHAT DO THEY DO? * ©
•   The 'automatized' production of learned motor plans. Can this be habit-forming?
•   Consolidation of motor programs into efficient goal-directed motor plans.
•   Implementation of simultaneous and/or sequential motor programs according to the behavioral context (assumes prior motor learning):
•   memory-guided (I did drive myself home .. didn't I?)
•   self-initiated (I control the rhythm and the pace, self-imposed goals)
•   externally-cued (perception/action coupling, deadlines)
•   delayed motor set (temporal organization of behavior)
•   Making motor choices (Spatiotemporal Organization in Action-Perception Cycle):
•   switching between motor plans and integrating motor strategies
•   incorporating perception, judgment, drive, memory, affect, and         external conditions into a plan of action (Requires Evaluation of Performance)
•   Driving Action or Inaction - To do or not to do?  That is the question! (Reward-Based?)
•   Is the action worth the effort?  Do Now?.. Later?.. Never?
•   Will the action satisfy a short- or long-term need? (What’s in it for me?)
•   Is the action acceptable according to homeostatic and/or societal norms; if     not, what are the risks if the action proceeds?
•   When must I suppress action for self-preservation or for the good of others     (according to self/institutional moral codes)?
•   Motor Energizer: revving up the neural engine, changing gears
•   setting levels of kinetic activity (often reward based)
•   stiffness regulation
•   preparatory set (Get Ready… Get Set…)
* ©  GEC ‘87,  revised ‘98, 2000, 2001
•   Nothing Useful if BG/Cortical Loops Are Disrupted