Subthalamic nucleus local field potentials recordings reveal subtle effects of promised reward during conflict resolution in Parkinson's disease.


Univ Rennes, INSERM, LTSI, UMR 1099, F-35000, Rennes, France. Electronic address: [Email]


Cognitive action control depends on cortical-subcortical circuits, involving notably the subthalamic nucleus (STN), as evidenced by local field potentials recordings (LFPs) studies. The STN consistently shows an increase in theta oscillations power during conflict resolution. Some studies have shown that cognitive action control in Parkinson's disease (PD) could be influenced by the occurrence of monetary reward. In this study, we investigated whether incentive motivation could modulate STN activity, and notably STN theta activity, during response conflict resolution. To achieve this objective, we recorded STN LFPs during a motivated Simon task in PD patients who had undergone deep brain stimulation surgery. Behavioral results revealed that promised rewards increased the difficulty in resolving conflict situations, thus replicating previous findings. Signal analyses locked on the imperative stimulus onset revealed the typical pattern of increased theta power in a conflict situation. However, this conflict-related modulation of theta power was not influenced by the size of the reward cued. We nonetheless identified a significant effect of the reward size on local functional organization (indexed by inter-trial phase clustering) of theta oscillations, with higher organization associated with high rewards while resolving conflict. When focusing on the period following the onset of the reward cue, we unveiled a stronger beta power decrease in higher reward conditions. However, these LFPs results were not correlated to behavioral results. Our study suggests that the STN is involved in how reward information can influence computations during conflict resolution. However, considering recent studies as well as the present results, we suspect that these effects are subtle.


Cognitive action control,Local field potential,Neural oscillations,Reward,Subthalamic nucleus,

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