Vocal emotion decoding in the subthalamic nucleus: An intracranial ERP study in Parkinson's disease

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Using intracranial local field potential (LFP) recordings in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS), we explored the electrophysiological activity of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in response to emotional stimuli in the auditory modality. Previous studies focused on the influence of visual stimuli. To this end, we recorded LFPs within the STN in response to angry, happy, and neutral prosodies in 13 patients with PD who had just undergone implantation of DBS electrodes. We observed specific modulation of the right STN in response to anger and happiness, as opposed to neutral prosody, occurring at around 200–300 ms post-onset, and later at around 850–950 ms post-onset for anger and at around 3250–3350 ms post-onset for happiness. Taken together with previous reports of modulated STN activity in response to emotional visual stimuli, the present results appear to confirm that the STN is involved in emotion processing irrespective of stimulus valence and sensory modality.

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