Striatal Microstimulation Induces Persistent and Repetitive Negative Decision-Making Predicted by Striatal Beta-Band Oscillation

Neuron. 2018 Aug 22;99(4):829-841.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.07.022. Epub 2018 Aug 9.


Persistent thoughts inducing irrationally pessimistic and repetitive decisions are often symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders. Regional neural hyperactivities have been associated with these disorders, but it remains unclear whether there is a specific brain region causally involved in these persistent valuations. Here, we identified potential sources of such persistent states by microstimulating the striatum of macaques performing a task by which we could quantitatively estimate their subjective pessimistic states using their choices to accept or reject conflicting offers. We found that this microstimulation induced irrationally repetitive choices with negative evaluations. Local field potentials recorded in the same microstimulation sessions exhibited modulations of beta-band oscillatory activity that paralleled the persistent negative states influencing repetitive decisions. These findings demonstrate that local striatal zones can causally affect subjective states influencing persistent negative valuation and that abnormal beta-band oscillations can be associated with persistency in valuation accompanied by an anxiety-like state.

Keywords: approach-avoidance conflict; basal ganglia; beta oscillation; caudate nucleus; cost-benefit decisions; emotion; macaque; motivation; primate; value judgment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Beta Rhythm / physiology*
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / instrumentation*
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods
  • Electrodes, Implanted*
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Microelectrodes
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*