Caudate stimulation enhances learning

Sarah K. Bick, Shaun R. Patel, Husam A. Katnani, Noam Peled, Alik Widge, Sydney S. Cash, Emad N. Eskandar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Neuromodulation is a promising treatment modality for disorders of learning and memory, offering the possibility of precise alteration of disordered neural circuits. Studies to date have failed to identify an optimal target and stimulation paradigm. Six epilepsy patients with depth electrodes implanted for seizure localization participated in our study. We recorded local field potentials from implanted electrodes while subjects participated in an associative learning task requiring them to learn an association between presented images and a button press. Three subjects participated in stimulation sessions during which caudate or putamen stimulation was delivered for some images during feedback after correct responses. Caudate stimulation enhanced learning. Both caudate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex demonstrated a beta power increase during the feedback period of the learning task that was greater following correct than incorrect trials. In dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, this difference increased with learning and persisted beyond the end of the feedback period. Caudate stimulation was associated with increased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex beta power following feedback. These findings suggest that temporally specific caudate stimulation is a promising neuromodulation strategy to improve learning in disorders of learning and memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2930-2937
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Caudate
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Learning
  • Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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