Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The switch between automatic action selection and more controlled forms of decision-making is a dynamic process thought to involve both cortical and subcortical structures. During sensory conflict, medial pFC oscillations in the theta band (<8 Hz) drive those of the subthalamic nucleus (STN), and this is thought to increase the threshold of evidence needed for one competing response to be selected over another. Here, we were interested in testing whether STN activity is also altered by the rate at which evidence is presented during a congruent dot motion task absent of any explicit sensory conflict. By having a series of randomly moving dots gradually transform to congruent motion at three different rates (slow, medium, fast), we were able to show that a slower rate increased the time it took participants to make a response but did not alter the total amount of evidence that was integrated before the response. Notably, this resulted in a decision being made with a lower amount of instantaneous evidence during the slow and medium trials. Consistent with the idea that medial pFC-STN activity is involved in executing cognitive control, the higher levels of ambiguity during these trials were associated with increased theta band synchrony between the cortex and the STN, with the cortical oscillations Granger-causal to those of the STN. These results further confirm the involvement of the STN in decision-making and suggest that the disruption of this network may underlie some of the unwanted cognitive deficits associated with STN deep brain stimulation.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cogn Neurosci

Publication Date





811 - 825


Adult, Aged, Cortical Synchronization, Decision Making, Deep Brain Stimulation, Female, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Implantable Neurostimulators, Male, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Parkinson Disease, Photic Stimulation, Subthalamic Nucleus, Theta Rhythm, Time Factors, Visual Perception, Wavelet Analysis