The behavioral implications of deep brain stimulation (DBS) observed in Parkinson's disease patients provided evidence for a possible nonexclusively motor role of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in basal ganglia circuitry. Basal ganglia pathophysiology can be studied directly by the analysis of neural rhythms measured in local field potentials recorded through DBS electrodes. Recent studies demonstrated that specific oscillations in the STN are involved in cognitive and behavioral information processing: action representation is mediated through β oscillations (13-35 Hz); cognitive information related to decision-making processes is mediated through the low-frequency oscillation (5-12 Hz); and limbic and emotional information is mediated through the α oscillation (8-12 Hz). These results revealed an important involvement of STN in decisional processes, cognitive functions, emotion control and conflict that could explain the post-DBS occurrence of behavioral disturbances.
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