Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus dramatically improves the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but causes cognitive side effects such as impulsivity. This model from Frank (2006) simulates the role of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) within the basal ganglia circuitry in decision making. The STN dynamically modulates network decision thresholds in proportion to decision conflict. The STN ``hold your horses'' signal adaptively allows the system more time to settle on the best choice when multiple options are valid. The model also replicates effects in Parkinson's patients on and off DBS in experiments designed to test the model (Frank et al, 2007).
Model Type: Connectionist Network
Simulation Environment: Emergent/PDP++
Implementer(s): Frank, Michael [mfrank at u.arizona.edu]
Frank MJ. (2006). Hold your horses: a dynamic computational role for the subthalamic nucleus in decision making. Neural networks : the official journal of the International Neural Network Society. 19 [PubMed]
Frank MJ, Samanta J, Moustafa AA, Sherman SJ. (2007). Hold your horses: impulsivity, deep brain stimulation, and medication in parkinsonism. Science (New York, N.Y.). 318 [PubMed]