22 Scopus citations


The advent of neuroimaging has provided foundational insights into the neural basis of psychiatric conditions, such as major depression. Across countless studies, dysfunction has been localized to distinct parts of the limbic system. Specific knowledge about affected locations has led to the development of circuit modulation therapies to correct dysfunction, notably deep brain stimulation (DBS). This and other emerging neuromodulation approaches have shown great promise, but their refinement has been slow and fundamental questions about their mechanisms of action remain. Here, we argue that their continued development requires reverse translation to animal models with close homology to humans, namely, nonhuman primates. With a particular focus on DBS approaches for depression, we highlight the parts of the brain that have been targeted by neuromodulation in humans, their efficacy, and why nonhuman primates are the most suitable model in which to conduct their refinement. We finish by highlighting key gaps in our knowledge that need to be filled to allow more rapid progress toward effective therapies in patients for whom all other treatment attempts have failed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26288-26296
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number52
StatePublished - 26 Dec 2019


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Depression
  • Nonhuman primate
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Subcallosal anterior cingulate cortex


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