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Neurons in the monkey’s subthalamic nucleus differentially encode motivation and effort

Abstract : The understanding of the electrophysiological properties of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons is crucial since it represents the main target of deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and obsessive compulsive disorders. The study of its non-motor properties could shed light on the cognitive and motivational alterations possibly encountered after stimulation. In this study, we recorded the activity of STN neurons in two male behaving monkeys (Macaca mulatta) while they performed a visuomotor motivational task in which visual cues indicated which amount of force was required to obtain which amount of reward. Our results evidenced force- and reward-modulated neurons. After the occurrence of the visual stimuli, the force-modulated neurons mainly fired when a high effort was required. Differently, the activity of the population of reward-modulated neurons encoded the motivational value of the stimuli. This population consisted of neurons increasing or decreasing their activity according to the motivational ranking of the task conditions. Both populations could play complementary roles, one in the implementation of the difficulty of the action and the other in enhancing or slowing its execution based on the subjective value of each conditions.
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Contributor : Christelle Baunez Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, March 11, 2022 - 11:09:49 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, March 12, 2022 - 3:31:52 AM




Simon Nougaret, C. Baunez, Sabrina Ravel. Neurons in the monkey’s subthalamic nucleus differentially encode motivation and effort. Journal of Neuroscience, Society for Neuroscience, 2022, ⟨10.1523/jneurosci.0281-21.2021⟩. ⟨hal-03605633⟩



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