The basal ganglia are more highly interconnected with the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPN) than with any other brain region. Regulation and relay of basal ganglia activity are two key functions of the PPN. The PPN provides an interface for the basal ganglia to influence sleep and waking, and the two structures are similarly implicated in learning, reward and other cognitive functions. Perturbations of basal ganglia activity have consequences for the PPN and vice versa, exemplified by their interdependencies in motor function and Parkinson's disease. Thus, close anatomical and physiological links between the PPN and basal ganglia make it increasingly difficult to consider the two as separate functional entities.
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