Organization of reward and movement signals in the basal ganglia and cerebellum

Noga Larry*, Gil Zur, Mati Joshua*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The basal ganglia and the cerebellum are major subcortical structures in the motor system. The basal ganglia have been cast as the reward center of the motor system, whereas the cerebellum is thought to be involved in adjusting sensorimotor parameters. Recent findings of reward signals in the cerebellum have challenged this dichotomous view. To compare the basal ganglia and the cerebellum directly, we recorded from oculomotor regions in both structures from the same monkeys. We partitioned the trial-by-trial variability of the neurons into reward and eye-movement signals to compare the coding across structures. Reward expectation and movement signals were the most pronounced in the output structure of the basal ganglia, intermediate in the cerebellum, and the smallest in the input structure of the basal ganglia. These findings suggest that reward and movement information is sharpened through the basal ganglia, resulting in a higher signal-to-noise ratio than in the cerebellum.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2119
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

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© The Author(s) 2024.


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