The putamen is a structure in the middle of the brain, forming the striatum together with the caudate nucleus. Its abbreviation is "Pu".
The putamen is a portion of the basal ganglia that forms the outermost part of the lenticular nucleus . It appears to play a role in reinforcement learning. It is coextensive with the insula, which has been found to contain mirror neurons. The motor and somatosensory cortices, the intralaminar nuclei of the thalamus, and the substantia nigra project to the putamen, and the putamen projects to premotor and supplementary motor areas of cortex via the globus pallidus and [thalamus]].
Putamen is also a botanical term for the stone in a fruit such as a peach.