Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Altered Prefrontal Theta and Gamma Activity during an Emotional Face Processing Task in Parkinson Disease.


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.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View