The human nucleus accumbens is thought to play an important role in guiding future action selection via an evaluation of current action outcomes. Here, we provide electrophysiological evidence for a more direct, i.e., on-line, role during action preparation. We recorded local field potentials from the nucleus accumbens in patients with epilepsy undergoing surgery for deep brain stimulation. We found a consistent decrease in the power of alpha-/beta-oscillations (10 to 30 Hz) before and around the time of movements. This peri-movement alpha-/beta-desynchronization was observed in seven of eight patients and was present both before instructed movements in a serial reaction time task as well as before self-paced, deliberate, choices in a decision-making task. A similar beta-decrease over sensorimotor cortex and in the subthalamic nucleus has been directly related to movement preparation and execution. Our results support the idea of a direct role of the human nucleus accumbens in action preparation and execution.
- nucleus accumbens
- beta oscillations
- action preparation
- deep brain stimulation
- Copyright © 2016, Journal of Neurophysiology