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Subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease has no significant effect on perceptual timing in the hundreds of milliseconds range

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Thomas Cope, Dr Manon Grube, Freya Cooper, Professor David Burn, Professor Tim GriffithsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Bilateral, high-frequency stimulation of the basal ganglia (STN-DBS) is in widespread use for the treatment of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). We present here the first psychophysical investigation of the effect of STN-DBS upon perceptual timing in the hundreds of milliseconds range, with both duration-based (absolute) and beat-based (relative) tasks; 13 patients with PD were assessed with their STN-DBS 'on', `off', and then 'on' again.Paired parametric analyses revealed no statistically significant differences for any task according to DBS status. We demonstrate, from the examination of confidence intervals, that any functionally relevant effect of STN-DBS on relative perceptual timing is statistically unlikely. For absolute, duration-based timing, we demonstrate that the activation of STN-DBS may either worsen performance or have no effect, but that it is unlikely to lead to significant improvement.Although these results are negative they have important implications for our understanding of perceptual timing and its relationship to motor functions within the timing network of the brain. They imply that the mechanisms involved in the perceptual processing of temporal information are likely to be functionally independent from those that underpin movement. Further, they suggest that the connections between STN and the subtantia nigra and globus pallidus are unlikely to be critical to beat-based perceptual timing. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cope TE, Grube M, Mandal A, Cooper FE, Brechany U, Burn DJ, Griffiths TD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neuropsychologia

Year: 2014

Volume: 57

Pages: 29-37

Print publication date: 01/05/2014

Online publication date: 05/03/2014

Acceptance date: 22/02/2014

Date deposited: 29/08/2014

ISSN (print): 0028-3932

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3514

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.02.021


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Funder referenceFunder name
091593Wellcome Trust
091681Wellcome Trust