Temporally Coordinated Deep Brain Stimulation in the Dorsal and Ventral Striatum Synergistically Enhances Associative Learning

Husam A. Katnani, Shaun R. Patel, Churl Su Kwon, Samer Abdel-Aziz, John T. Gale, Emad N. Eskandar

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Abstract

The primate brain has the remarkable ability of mapping sensory stimuli into motor behaviors that can lead to positive outcomes. We have previously shown that during the reinforcement of visual-motor behavior, activity in the caudate nucleus is correlated with the rate of learning. Moreover, phasic microstimulation in the caudate during the reinforcement period was shown to enhance associative learning, demonstrating the importance of temporal specificity to manipulate learning related changes. Here we present evidence that extends upon our previous finding by demonstrating that temporally coordinated phasic deep brain stimulation across both the nucleus accumbens and caudate can further enhance associative learning. Monkeys performed a visual-motor associative learning task and received stimulation at time points critical to learning related changes. Resulting performance revealed an enhancement in the rate, ceiling, and reaction times of learning. Stimulation of each brain region alone or at different time points did not generate the same effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18806
JournalScientific reports
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 4 2016

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