Division of the mammalian neostriatum into two intermingled compartments called striosomes and matrix has been established by analysis of enzyme activity, neuropeptide distribution, nucleic acid hybridization, and neurotransmitter receptor binding. Striosomes and matrix are distinct with respect to afferent and efferent connections, and these regions provide the potential for modulation and integration of information flow within basal ganglia circuitry. The primary neurotransmitters of corticostriatal afferents are excitatory amino acids, but to date no correlation of excitatory amino acid receptors and striatal compartments has been described. We examined binding to the three pharmacologically distinct ionotropic excitatory amino acid receptors, N-methyl-D-aspartate, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4- propionic acid, and kainate, in human striatum using in vitro receptor autoradiography and compared the binding to striosomes and matrix histochemically defined by acetylcholinesterase activity. Our findings reveal increased binding to N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5- methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid receptors in matrix relative to striosomes and increased kainate receptor binding in striosomes relative to matrix. These results suggest that afferent input to the two striatal compartments may be mediated by pharmacologically distinct excitatory amino acid receptor subtypes.