Poster D16, Monday, March 27, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Subthalamic nucleus stimulation impairs emotional conflict monitoring in Parkinson’s Disease
Friederike Irmen1,2, Julius Huebl2, Henning Schroll2,4, Gerd-Helge Schneider3, Andrea Kühn1,2,3; 1Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany, 2Department of Neurology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, 3Department of Neurosurgery, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, 4Department of Computer Science, Chemnitz University of Technology, Chemnitz, Germany
The subthalamic nucleus (STN) occupies an important strategic position in the motor network, slowing down responses in situations with conflicting perceptual input. Recent evidence further suggests a role of the STN in emotion processing through its strong connections with emotion recognition structures. As deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the STN in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) inhibits monitoring of perceptual and value-based conflict, STN DBS may also interfere with processing of emotional conflict. Specifically, STN DBS may modulate either the detection (conflict monitoring) or the control (conflict adaptation) of conflicting information. To assess a possible interference of STN DBS in conflict monitoring and adaptation, we used an Emotional Stroop paradigm previously established by Etkin et al. (2006). Subjects had to categorize face stimuli according to their emotional expression (positive or negative) while ignoring emotionally congruent or incongruent superimposed word labels. Eleven PD patients ON and OFF STN DBS conducted the computerized task while taking their usual antiparkinsonian medication. Eleven age-matched healthy subjects participated as controls. We found conflict-induced response slowing in healthy controls and PD patients OFF DBS, but not ON DBS suggesting, STN DBS to induce a decrease in emotional conflict detection irrespective of valence. OFF DBS, patients slowed down more for negative conflict stimuli and this emotional bias was regulated by STN DBS. Computational modelling of STN influence on conflict monitoring disclosed DBS to interfere via increased baseline activity. STN DBS did not alter the capacity to adapt cognitive control to conflict demands on a trial-by-trial basis.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions