Dynamic control of decision and movement speed in the human basal ganglia.
Herz DM., Bange M., Gonzalez-Escamilla G., Auer M., Ashkan K., Fischer P., Tan H., Bogacz R., Muthuraman M., Groppa S., Brown P.
To optimally adjust our behavior to changing environments we need to both adjust the speed of our decisions and movements. Yet little is known about the extent to which these processes are controlled by common or separate mechanisms. Furthermore, while previous evidence from computational models and empirical studies suggests that the basal ganglia play an important role during adjustments of decision-making, it remains unclear how this is implemented. Leveraging the opportunity to directly access the subthalamic nucleus of the basal ganglia in humans undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery, we here combine invasive electrophysiological recordings, electrical stimulation and computational modelling of perceptual decision-making. We demonstrate that, while similarities between subthalamic control of decision- and movement speed exist, the causal contribution of the subthalamic nucleus to these processes can be disentangled. Our results show that the basal ganglia independently control the speed of decisions and movement for each hemisphere during adaptive behavior.