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Journal Article

Cognitive effects of rhythmic auditory stimulation in Parkinson’s disease: A P300 study


Abel,  Cornelius
Scientific Services, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;

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Lei, J., Conradi, N., Abel, C., Frisch, S., Brodski-Guerniero, A., Hildner, M., et al. (2019). Cognitive effects of rhythmic auditory stimulation in Parkinson’s disease: A P300 study. Brain Research, 1716, 70-79. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2018.05.016.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-EDE3-4
Rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) may compensate dysfunctions of the basal ganglia (BG), involved with intrinsic evaluation of temporal intervals and action initiation or continuation. In the cognitive domain, RAS containing periodically presented tones facilitates young healthy participants’ attention allocation to anticipated time points, indicated by better performance and larger P300 amplitudes to periodic compared to random stimuli. Additionally, active auditory-motor synchronization (AMS) leads to a more precise temporal encoding of stimuli via embodied timing encoding than stimulus presentation adapted to the participants’ actual movements.

Here we investigated the effect of RAS and AMS in Parkinson’s disease (PD). 23 PD patients and 23 healthy age-matched controls underwent an auditory oddball task. We manipulated the timing (periodic/random/adaptive) and setting (pedaling/sitting still) of stimulation. While patients elicited a general timing effect, i.e., larger P300 amplitudes for periodic versus random tones for both, sitting and pedaling conditions, controls showed a timing effect only for the sitting but not for the pedaling condition. However, a correlation between P300 amplitudes and motor variability in the periodic pedaling condition was obtained in control participants only. We conclude that RAS facilitates attentional processing of temporally predictable external events in PD patients as well as healthy controls, but embodied timing encoding via body movement does not affect stimulus processing due to BG impairment in patients. Moreover, even with intact embodied timing encoding, such as healthy elderly, the effect of AMS depends on the degree of movement synchronization performance, which is very low in the current study.