Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 113, Issue 10, pp 1449–1462

Effects of stimulus-response compatibility in Parkinson’s disease: a psychophysiological analysis


  • M. Falkenstein
    • Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors
  • R. Willemssen
    • Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors
  • J. Hohnsbein
    • Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors
  • H. Hielscher
    • Neurologische Klinik mit klinischer NeurophysiologieEvangelisches Krankenhaus Gelsenkirchen

DOI: 10.1007/s00702-005-0430-1

Cite this article as:
Falkenstein, M., Willemssen, R., Hohnsbein, J. et al. J Neural Transm (2006) 113: 1449. doi:10.1007/s00702-005-0430-1


The present study investigated the mechanisms underlying stimulus-response compatibility effects in Parkinson’s disease patients and matched controls. Since basal ganglia are involved in the selection and inhibition of competing responses we examined whether basal ganglia dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease leads to greater interference effects compared to the control subjects. Reaction times and lateralized movement-related cortical potentials (lateralized readiness potential: LRP) were recorded in two modified Eriksen flanker tasks.

Both groups were influenced by compatibility conditions; interference was seen as enhanced reaction time and error rate, as well as incorrect early LRP and delayed late LRP in incongruent trials. Altogether, behavioral and electrophysiological measures showed the interference to be rather smaller for the patients than for the controls. In contrast, facilitation did not differ among groups. Hence the claim that Parkinson’s disease patients are more influenced than controls by interfering directional stimuli appears not always valid.

Keywords: Basal ganglia, Parkinson’s disease, stimulus-response compatibility, flanker task, lateralized readiness potential.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006