Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 113, Issue 10, pp 1449–1462 | Cite as

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

  • M. Falkenstein
  • R. Willemssen
  • J. Hohnsbein
  • H. Hielscher


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. 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alexander, GE, Crutcher, MD 1990Functional architecture of basal ganglia circuits: neural substrates of parallel processingTrends Neurosci109266271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexander, GE, DeLong, MR, Strick, PL 1986Parallel organization of functionally segregated circuits linking basal ganglia and cortexAnnu Rev Neurosci9357381PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benton, AL 1968Differential behavioral effects in frontal lobe diseaseNeuropsychologia65360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, RG, Jahanshahi, M, Marsden, CD 1993Response choice in Parkinson’s disease. The effects of uncertainty and stimulus-response compatibilityBrain116869885PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, RG, Marsden, C 1988Internal versus external cues and the control of attention in Parkinson’s diseaseBrain111323345PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown, P, Marsden, CD 1998What do the basal ganglia do?Lancet35118011804PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chevalier, G, Deniau, JM 1990Disinhibition as a basic process in the expression of striatal functionsTrends Neurosci13277280PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coles, MGH 1989Modern mind-brain reading: psychophysiology, physiology, and cognitionPsychophysiology26251269PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Eriksen, BA, Eriksen, CW 1974Effects of noise letters upon the identification of a nonsearch taskPercept Psychophys16143149Google Scholar
  10. Eriksen, CW, Schultz, DW 1979Information processing in visual search: a continuous flow conception and experimental resultsPercept Psychophys25249263PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Fahn, S Elton, RL Members of the UPDRS Development Committee1987

    Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale

    Fahn, SMarsden, CDCalne, DBGoldstein, M eds. Recent developments in Parkinson’s diseaseMacmillan Healthcare InformationFlorham Park, NJ153163
    Google Scholar
  12. Flowers, JH 1990Priming effects in perceptual classificationPercept Psychophys47135148PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Gratton, G, Coles, MGH, Donchin, E 1983A new method for off-line removal of ocular artifactElectroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol55468484PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Henik, A, Singh, J, Beckley, DJ, Rafal, RD 1993Disinhibition of automatic word reading in Parkinson’s diseaseCortex29589599PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Jackson, S, Houghton, G 1995

    Sensorimotorselection and the basal ganglia: a neural network model

    Houk, JGDavis, JLBeiser, DG eds. Models of information processing in the basal gangliaIVIT PressCambridge337374
    Google Scholar
  16. Jones, DL, Bradshaw, JL, Phillips, JG, Iansek, R, Mattingley, JB, Bradshaw, JA 1994Allocation of attention to programming of movement sequences in Parkinson’s diseaseJ Clin Exp Neuropsychol16117128PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Jurkowski, AJ, Hackley, SA, Gratton, G 2002Dissociation of age and Parkinson’s disease effects in a response conflict. Society for Psychophysiological Research. Abstracts, Forty-Second Annual Meeting, Washington, DCPsychophysiology398Google Scholar
  18. Karayanidis, F 1989Parkinson’s disease: a conceptualization of neuropsychological deficits within an information-processing frameworkBiol Psychol29149179PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kopp, B, Rist, F, Mattler, U 1996N200 in the flanker task as a neurobehavioral tool for investigating executive controlPsychophysiology33282294PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Kornblum, S, Hasbroucq, T, Osman, A 1990Dimensional overlap: cognitive basis for stimulus-response compatibility – a model and taxonomyPsychol Rev97253270PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lee, SS, Wild, K, Hollnagel, C, Grafman, J 1999Selective visual attention in patients with frontal lobe lesions or Parkinson’s diseaseNeuropsychologia37595604PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Low, KA, Miller, J, Vierck, E 2002Response slowing in Parkinson’s disease. A psychophysiological analysis of premotor and motor processesBrain12519801994PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Maddox, WT, Filoteo, JV, Delis, DC, Salmon, DP 1996Visual selective attention deficits in Patients with Parkinson’s disease: a quantitative model-based approachNeuropsychology10197218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mattler, U 2003Delayed flanker effects in lateralized readiness potentialsExp Brain Res151272288PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Miller, J, Patterson, T, Ulrich, R 1998Jackknife-based method for measuring LRP onset latency differencesPsychophysiology3599115PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mink, JW 1996The basal ganglia: focused selection and inhibition of competing motor programsProg Neurobiol50381425PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nelson, HE 1976A modified card sorting test sensitive to frontal lobe defectCortex12313324PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Praamstra, P, Plat, EM, Meyer, AS, Horstink, MWIM 1999Motor cortex activation in Parkinson’s disease: dissociation of electrocortical and peripheral measures of response generationMov Disord14790799PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Praamstra, P, Stegeman, DF, Cools, AR, Horstink, MWIM 1998Reliance on external cues for movement initiation in Parkinson’s disease. Evidence from movement-related potentialsBrain121167177PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sharpe, MH 1990Distractibility in early Parkinson’s diseaseCortex26239246PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Sharpe, MH 1992Auditory attention in early Parkinson’s disease: an impairment in focused attentionNeuropsychologia30101106PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sommer, W, Ulrich, R, Leuthold, H 1996Das Lateralisierte Bereitschaftspotential als psychophysiologischer Zugang bei der Untersuchung kognitiver ProzessePsychol Rundschau47114Google Scholar
  33. Wascher, E, Reinhard, M, Wauschkuhn, B, Verleger, R 1999Spatial S-R compatibility with centrally presented stimuli: an event-related asymmetry study on dimensional overlapJ Cogn Neurosci11214229PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wascher, E, Verleger, R, Vieregge, P, Jaskowski, P, Koch, S, Kömpf, D 1997Responses to cued signals in Parkinson’s disease. Distinguishing between disorders of cognition and of activationBrain12013551375PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Willemssen, R, Hoormann, J, Hohnsbein, J, Falkenstein, M 2004Central and parietal event-related lateralizations in a flanker taskPsychophysiology41762771PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wylie, SA, Stout, JC, Bashore, TR 2005Activation of conflicting responses in Parkinson’s disease: evidence for degrading and facilitating effects on response timeNeuropsychologia4310331043PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zeef, EJ, Kok, A 1993Age-related differences in the timing of stimulus and response processes during visual selective attention: performance and psychophysiological analysesPsychophysiology30138151PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Falkenstein
    • 1
  • R. Willemssen
    • 1
  • J. Hohnsbein
    • 1
  • H. Hielscher
    • 2
  1. 1.Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human FactorsDortmundGermany
  2. 2.Neurologische Klinik mit klinischer NeurophysiologieEvangelisches Krankenhaus GelsenkirchenGelsenkirchenGermany

Personalised recommendations