Neuronal and oscillatory activity during reward processing in the human ventral striatum

Bradley C. Lega, Michael J. Kahana, Jurg Jaggi, Gordon H. Baltuch, Kareem Zaghloul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Accumulated evidence from animal studies implicates the ventral striatum in the processing of reward information. Recently, deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery has enabled researchers to analyze neurophysiological recordings from humans engaged in reward tasks. We present data recorded from the human ventral striatum during deep brain stimulation surgery as a participant played a video game coupled to the receipt of visual reward images. To our knowledge, we identify the first instances of reward-sensitive single unit activity in the human ventral striatum. Local field potential data suggest that alpha oscillations are sensitive to positive feedback, whereas beta oscillations exhibit significantly higher power during unrewarded trials. We report evidence of alpha-gamma cross-frequency coupling that differentiates between positive and negative feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-800
Number of pages6
Issue number16
StatePublished - Nov 16 2011


  • deep brain stimulation
  • nucleus accumbens
  • reward
  • ventral striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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