gms | German Medical Science

68th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
7th Joint Meeting with the British Neurosurgical Society (SBNS)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

14 - 17 May 2017, Magdeburg

The Centromedian-Parafascicular Complex may signal behaviorally relevant events

Meeting Abstract

  • Anne-Kathrin Beck - Hannover, Deutschland
  • Kerstin Schwabe - Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Neurochirurgische Klinik, Hannover, Deutschland
  • Mahmoud Abdallat - Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Neurochirurgische Klinik, Hannover, Deutschland
  • Pascale Sandmann - Köln, Deutschland
  • Reinhard Dengler - Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Neurologie und Klinische Neurophysiologie, Klinik für Neurologie, Hannover, Deutschland
  • Joachim K. Krauss - Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Neurochirurgische Klinik, Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Hannover, Deutschland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Society of British Neurological Surgeons. 68. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), 7. Joint Meeting mit der Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS). Magdeburg, 14.-17.05.2017. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2017. DocMi.16.07

doi: 10.3205/17dgnc475, urn:nbn:de:0183-17dgnc4753

Published: June 9, 2017

© 2017 Beck et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Objective: The centromedian-parafascicular complex (CM-Pf) of the intralaminar thalamus was shown to be activated during attentional orienting and processing of behaviorally relevant stimuli. Therefore, the CM-Pf was suggested to be a part of a subcortical cognitive control loop. Here, we investigated the human CM-Pf and its involvement in processing of task relevant information during an auditory three-class oddball paradigm with simultaneous cortical recordings.

Methods: Simultaneous intracranial local field potentials (LFPs) and scalp electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings were obtained in 6 patients (2 woman; mean age=48±12 years) who received deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes in the CM-Pf for the treatment of their pain syndromes. Within 2 days after surgery, they performed an auditory three-class oddball paradigm with externalized DBS electrodes. Subcortical and cortical event-related potentials (ERPs) were analyzed upon presentation of one frequent standard stimulus (900Hz; 72%) and two infrequent stimuli (600Hz and 1200Hz; 14%), either being a relevant or a distractor stimulus.

Results: Analysis revealed high accuracy (>70%) for all participants. As expected, the rare relevant stimuli elicited a P3 response over parietal regions in the EEG. The P3 component of an ERP is known to reflect attentional processes in tasks requiring stimulus detection and discrimination. Recordings in the CM-Pf revealed highest amplitudes to the relevant stimuli as well. Interestingly, peak latencies of the CM-Pf precede the cortical P3 response.

Conclusion: The CM-Pf seems to be involved in goal-oriented action selection and attentional mechanisms. Importantly, subcortical responses in the CM-Pf precede cortical responses, suggesting that auditory information is labelled as behavioral relevant from subcortical circuits and is then distributed to cortical areas; possibly via thalamo-striatal loop mechanisms.