The caudate nucleus plays a vital role in how the brain learns. As such, it also plays a highly important role in storing memories. It works as a feedback processor, and this is important to the development and use of language. Specifically, communication skills are thought to be more the territory of the left caudate and the thalamus. Each of the brain's hemispheres contains a caudate nucleus, and both are located centrally and near the basal ganglia. They are situated near the thalamus. Each nucleus features a wide head that tapers into a body and a thin tail. As a whole, it is curved and often resembles the letter "C" in shape. Dysfunction of a caudate nucleus will cripple some aspects of the brain's functional ability. Some brain specialists suspect the nucleus may play a role in the development of obsessive compulsive disorder. If this is true, the nucleus is unable to control the transmission of worrying and concerning impulses between the thalamus and the orbitofrontal cortex.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Caudate nucleus