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J Neuropsychol. 2017 Sep;11(3):378-395. doi: 10.1111/jnp.12094. Epub 2015 Dec 16.

Pre-frontal-insular-cerebellar modifications correlate with disgust feeling blunting after subthalamic stimulation: A positron emission tomography study in Parkinson's disease.

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'Behaviour and Basal Ganglia' Research Unit, University of Rennes 1, Rennes University Hospital, France.
Neurology Department, Rennes University Hospital, France.
Nuclear Medicine Department, Eugène Marquis Centre, Rennes, France.
MediCIS, INSERM, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rennes I, France.
Neurosurgery Department, Rennes University Hospital, France.
UMR CNRS 7295, Centre for Research on Cognition and Learning, Poitiers, France.
Department of Psychology, University of Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium.
Adult Psychiatry Department, Guillaume Régnier Hospital, Rennes, France.
Physiology Department, Rennes University Hospital, France.
'Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics' Laboratory, Department of Psychology and Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


Subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) has recently advanced our understanding of the major role played by this basal ganglion in human emotion. Research indicates that STN DBS can induce modifications in all components of emotion, and neuroimaging studies have shown that the metabolic modifications correlated with these emotional disturbances following surgery are both task- and sensory input-dependent. Nevertheless, to date, these modifications have not been confirmed for all emotional components, notably subjective emotional experience, or feelings. To identify the neural network underlying the modification of feelings following STN DBS, we assessed 16 patients with Parkinson's disease before and after surgery, using both subjective assessments of emotional experience and 18 [F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18 FDG-PET). The patients viewed six film excerpts intended to elicit happy, angry, fearful, sad, disgusted, and neutral feelings, and they self-rated the intensity of these feelings. After DBS, there was a significant reduction in the intensity of the disgust feeling. Correlations were observed between decreased disgust experience and cerebral glucose metabolism (FDG uptake) in the bilateral pre-frontal cortices (orbitofrontal, dorsolateral, and inferior frontal gyri), bilateral insula, and right cerebellum. We suggest that the STN contributes to the synchronization process underlying the emergence of feelings.


18[F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography; cerebellum; emotion; feelings; insula; orbitofrontal cortex; subthalamic nucleus

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