Expectation modulates the response to subthalamic nucleus stimulation in Parkinsonian patients

Antonella Pollo, Elena Torre, Leonardo Lopiano, Mario Rizzone, Michele Lanotte, Andrea Cavanna, Bruno Bergamasco, Fabrizio Benedetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Expectations about future events are known to trigger neural mechanisms that affect both perception and action. Here we report that different and opposite expectations of bad and good motor performance modulate the therapeutic effects of subthalamic nucleus stimulation in Parkinsonian patients who had undergone chronic implantation of electrodes for deep brain stimulation. By analyzing the effects of subthalamic stimulation on the velocity of movement of the right hand, we found hand movement to be faster when the patients expected a good motor performance. The expectation of good performance was induced through a placebo-like procedure, thus indicating that placebo-induced expectations have influence on the treatment outcome. All these effects occurred within minutes, suggesting that expectations induce neural changes very quickly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1383-6
Number of pages4
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2002


  • Aged
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy/methods
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Female
  • Hand/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement/physiology
  • Parkinson Disease/psychology
  • Patients/psychology
  • Placebo Effect
  • Psychomotor Performance/physiology
  • Subthalamic Nucleus
  • Treatment Outcome


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