Time-frequency signatures evoked by single-pulse deep brain stimulation to the subcallosal cingulate

Ezra E. Smith, Ki Sueng Choi, Ashan Veerakumar, Mosadoluwa Obatusin, Bryan Howell, Andrew H. Smith, Vineet Tiruvadi, Andrea L. Crowell, Patricio Riva-Posse, Sankaraleengam Alagapan, Christopher J. Rozell, Helen S. Mayberg, Allison C. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Precision targeting of specific white matter bundles that traverse the subcallosal cingulate (SCC) has been linked to efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for treatment resistant depression (TRD). Methods to confirm optimal target engagement in this heterogenous region are now critical to establish an objective treatment protocol. As yet unexamined are the time-frequency features of the SCC evoked potential (SCC-EP), including spectral power and phase-clustering. We examined these spectral features—evoked power and phase clustering—in a sample of TRD patients (n = 8) with implanted SCC stimulators. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded during wakeful rest. Location of electrical stimulation in the SCC target region was the experimental manipulation. EEG was analyzed at the surface level with an average reference for a cluster of frontal sensors and at a time window identified by prior study (50–150 ms). Morlet wavelets generated indices of evoked power and inter-trial phase clustering. Enhanced phase clustering at theta frequency (4–7 Hz) was observed in every subject and was significantly correlated with SCC-EP magnitude, but only during left SCC stimulation. Stimulation to dorsal SCC evinced stronger phase clustering than ventral SCC. There was a weak correlation between phase clustering and white matter density. An increase in evoked delta power (2–4 Hz) was also coincident with SCC-EP, but was less consistent across participants. DBS evoked time-frequency features index mm-scale changes to the location of stimulation in the SCC target region and correlate with structural characteristics implicated in treatment optimization. Results also imply a shared generative mechanism (inter-trial phase clustering) between evoked potentials evinced by electrical stimulation and evoked potentials evinced by auditory/visual stimuli and behavioral tasks. Understanding how current injection impacts downstream cortical activity is essential to building new technologies that adapt treatment parameters to individual differences in neurophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number939258
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2022


  • deep brain stimulation
  • inter-trial phase clustering
  • perturbation mapping
  • single pulse electrical stimulation
  • stimulation evoked potential
  • subcallosal cingulate
  • time frequency analyses
  • treatment resistant depression (TRD)


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