Local striatal reward signals can be predicted from corticostriatal connectivity

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A defining feature of the basal ganglia is their anatomical organization into multiple cortico-striatal loops. A central tenet of this architecture is the idea that local striatal function is determined by its precise connectivity with cortex, creating a functional topography that is mirrored within cortex and striatum. Here we formally test this idea using both human anatomical and functional imaging, specifically asking whether within striatal subregions one can predict between-voxel differences in functional signals based on between-voxel differences in corticostriatal connectivity. We show that corticostriatal connectivity profiles predict local variation in reward signals in bilateral caudate nucleus and putamen, expected value signals in bilateral caudate nucleus, and response effector activity in bilateral putamen. These data reveal that, even within individual striatal regions, local variability in corticostriatal anatomical connectivity predicts functional differentiation.HighlightsWe use diffusion imaging to predict striatal reinforcement learning BOLD responses.Structural cortico-striatal connectivity can explain intra-regional BOLD variability.These results suggest a fine functional parcellation based on afferent connectivity.

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