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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

November 2019, Vol. 31, No. 11, Pages 1768-1776
(doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_01450)
© 2019 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Altered Prefrontal Theta and Gamma Activity during an Emotional Face Processing Task in Parkinson Disease
Article PDF (739.93 KB)
Patients with Parkinson disease (PD) often experience nonmotor symptoms including cognitive deficits, depression, and anxiety. Cognitive and affective processes are thought to be mediated by prefrontal cortico-basal ganglia circuitry. However, the topography and neurophysiology of prefrontal cortical activity during complex tasks are not well characterized. We used high-resolution electrocorticography in pFC of patients with PD and essential tremor, during implantation of deep brain stimulator leads in the awake state, to understand disease-specific changes in prefrontal activity during an emotional face processing task. We found that patients with PD had less task-related theta–alpha power and greater task-related gamma power in the dorsolateral pFC, inferior frontal cortex, and lateral OFC. These findings support a model of prefrontal neurophysiological changes in the dopamine-depleted state, in which focal areas of hyperactivity in prefrontal cortical regions may compensate for impaired long-range interactions mediated by low-frequency rhythms. These distinct neurophysiological changes suggest that nonmotor circuits undergo characteristic changes in PD.