Subthalamic Nucleus Activity Influences Sensory and Motor Cortex during Force Transduction

Ahmad Alhourani, Anna Korzeniewska, Thomas A. Wozny, Witold J. Lipski, Efstathios D. Kondylis, Avniel S. Ghuman, Nathan E. Crone, Donald J. Crammond, Robert S. Turner, R. Mark Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is proposed to participate in pausing, or alternately, in dynamic scaling of behavioral responses, roles that have conflicting implications for understanding STN function in the context of deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy. To examine the nature of event-related STN activity and subthalamic-cortical dynamics, we performed primary motor and somatosensory electrocorticography while subjects (n = 10) performed a grip force task during DBS implantation surgery. Phase-locking analyses demonstrated periods of STN-cortical coherence that bracketed force transduction, in both beta and gamma ranges. Event-related causality measures demonstrated that both STN beta and gamma activity predicted motor cortical beta and gamma activity not only during force generation but also prior to movement onset. These findings are consistent with the idea that the STN participates in motor planning, in addition to the modulation of ongoing movement. We also demonstrated bidirectional information flow between the STN and somatosensory cortex in both beta and gamma range frequencies, suggesting robust STN participation in somatosensory integration. In fact, interactions in beta activity between the STN and somatosensory cortex, and not between STN and motor cortex, predicted PD symptom severity. Thus, the STN contributes to multiple aspects of sensorimotor behavior dynamically across time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2615-2626
Number of pages12
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 14 2020


  • deep brain stimulation
  • electrocorticography
  • sensory integration
  • subthalamic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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