Executive control in Parkinson's disease: Effects of dopaminergic medication and deep brain stimulation on anti-cue keypress performance

Jos J. Adam*, Hanna van Houdt, B. Scholtissen, Veerle Visser-Vandewalle, Ania Winogrodzka, A. Duits

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Using an anti-cue keypress task, we examined executive control in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and dopaminergic medication. Across sessions, we varied stimulation (on, off) and dopaminergic medication (on, off). Reaction time (RT) results of the PD patients and their age-matched controls showed a consistent pattern of RT costs and benefits generated by anti-cues with short and long preparation intervals, respectively. This pattern was evident in all sessions, except when DBS stimulation and medication were off. In this condition PD patients showed no RT benefits. These findings are discussed in terms of an executive control process that suppresses the automatic but inappropriate response activation generated by anti-cues. In PD this mechanism is severely compromised but it can be remediated by dopaminergic medication and DBS, suggesting an essential role of the basal ganglia in the selection and suppression of competing responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-117
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
Early online date17 Jun 2011
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Aged
  • Benserazide/therapeutic use
  • Benzothiazoles/therapeutic use
  • Carbidopa/therapeutic use
  • Cues
  • *Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Dopamine Agents/*therapeutic use
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levodopa/therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease/physiopathology/*psychology/therapy
  • Pergolide/therapeutic use
  • *Psychomotor Performance
  • Reaction Time
  • Subthalamic Nucleus/physiopathology
  • Anti-cue
  • Response selection
  • Executive control

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