The ventral pallidum (VP) is a structure within the basal ganglia of the brain. It is an output nucleus whose fibres project to thalamic nuclei, such as the ventral anterior nucleus, the ventrolateral nucleus, and the medial dorsal nucleus. The Ventral Pallidum is a component of the limbic loop of the basal ganglia, a pathway involved in the regulation of motivation, behaviour, and emotions. It is an important substrate for natural reward and drug addiction (Cromwell and Berridge, 1993; Johnson et al., 1996; Kalivas and Naka- mura, 1999; Stratford et al., 1999; Swanson, 2000; Watts, 2000; Berthoud, 2002; June et al., 2003; Caille and Parsons, 2004; Insel and Fernald, 2004; Koob, 2004; Tindell et al., 2004). Results from various studies support that the VP has roles in motivation for food, sex, drugs (heroin, cocaine, alcohol, phencyclidine, and others), and other rewards (Kalivas and Nakamura, 1999; Zahm, 2000; Kelley and Berridge, 2002; Smith and Berridge, 2001), such as brain stimulation reward (Panagis et al., 1995; McBride et al., 1999). The VP is part of the cortico-accumbo-thalamocortical loop of the basal ganglia. In the past the function of this region was thought to be a pure relay station in the process of limbic-motor integration. However, recent studies show that at the level of the VP motor behavior can be modulated. The stimulation and inhibition of the different transmitter systems converging in the VP have implications in repetitive, disinhibited, learning and reinforced behavior. Therefore, it has recently been involved in locomotion, reward-related behavior, prepulse inhibition, and memory.

See:smith_2005.pdf smith_2009.pdfkretschmer_2000_ventralpallidum.pdf

See also:
* PhD dissertation, Chao­Yi Ho, 2010. The University of Michigan. cyho_1.pdf

Image and Location

Wikipedia Dusek et al. 2012|dusek_2012.pdf

Region of Interest image (ROI):

ROI nifti image file:
ROI .mat file:

*NEUROSYNTH COACTIVATION MAPS for right and left ventral pallidum


Searches so far:

ventral pallidum [all] and title ventral pallidum [all] and projections [all] ventral pallidum [all] and connectivity ventral pallidum [all] and function and review

Most important references

=Reviews on anatomy, physiology and function of the ventral pallidum:=

  • Smith et al. 2009. Ventral pallidum roles in reward and motivation. Behavioural Brain Research 196, 155–167. link to paper
  • Kretschmer. 2000. Functional aspects of the ventral pallidum. Amino Acids. 19. 201-210. link to paper
  • Napier and Mickiewicz, 2010. The role of the ventral pallidum in psychiatric disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology (2010) 35,137. link to paper

=Classic paper about :=

=fMRI studies:=




=Major inputs:=

  • Limbic structures. (Major Neurotransmitter: Glutamate).
  • Mesencephalic dopaminergic structures. (Major transmitter: Dopamine).
  • Nucleus Accumbens. (Gabaergic fibers, with substance P and enkephalin as cotransmitters). Groenewegen and Russchen, 1984).

=Other subcortical inputs:= *

=Cortical inputs:=


Gabaergic and cholinergic ouput neurons which innervate limbic structures, the mediodorsal thalamus, mesencephalic dopaminergic structures and motor regions in the brainstem (Groenewegen et al. 1993)



smith_2009.pdf cyho_1.pdf * Movement * Necessary for Reward. Necessary for motivation to eat and hedonic impact. Necessary for reward learning and performance * Disinhibition of ventral pallidum from GABA suppression: stimulation of food ‘wanting’ (but not ‘liking’) * Ventral pallidum opioids: ‘liking’ and ‘wanting’ stimulation in a posterior hotspot * Accumbens–pallidum opioid interaction: asymmetric paths for ‘liking’ and ‘wanting’ * Neuronal activity in ventral pallidum hotspot codes reward * Ventral pallidum neurons encode reward hedonic ‘liking’ and incentive salience ‘wanting’ * Ventral pallidum neurons encode incentive sensitization and distinguish ‘wanting’ versus ‘liking’ enhancements * Ventral pallidum roles in affiliation and sex * The ventral pallidum as a limbic final common pathway

Images of VP functions:
From Chao-Yi Ho, 2010. PhD Dissertation.
From Smith et al. 2009.

Effects of stimulation

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Effects of lesions/inactivation

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Effects of microinjection

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Studies activating


Coordinates (x, y, z): [18, 0, -6] , [-17, 0, -6] from WFU_PickAtlas anatomically based

Last modified: 2017/09/27 22:54