Boston University Cognitive & Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory
Congratulations Chenlingxi (Lyncie) Xu for being accepted to the Psychology PhD Program at the University of Notre Dame!
Congratulations Luke Pool for being accepted to the Kinesiology and Applied Physiology PhD Program at Rutgers University!
Our laboratory's research now appears on Neurodiem, a digital platform for presenting scientific developments in neurology provided by Biogen in collaboration with Springer Healthcare.
Congratulations Shrey Grover on an eloquent interview with Dr. Jonathan O'Keeffe from Machine Medicine Technologies.
High-frequency neuromodulation improves obsessive-compulsive behavior
Grover S, Nguyen JA, Viswanathan V, Reinhart RMG
Nearly one billion people worldwide suffer from obsessive-compulsive behaviors, yet our mechanistic understanding of these behaviors is incomplete, and effective therapeutics are unavailable. An emerging perspective characterizes obsessive-compulsive behaviors as maladaptive habit learning, which may be associated with abnormal beta-gamma neurophysiology of the orbitofrontal-striatal circuitry during reward processing. We target the orbitofrontal cortex with alternating current, personalized to the intrinsic beta-gamma frequency of the reward network, and show rapid, reversible, frequency-specific modulation of reward- but not punishment-guided choice behavior and learning, driven by increased exploration in the setting of an actor-critic architecture. Next, we demonstrate that chronic application of the procedure over 5 days robustly attenuates obsessive-compulsive behavior in a nonclinical population for 3 months, with the largest benefits for individuals with more severe symptoms. Finally, we show that convergent mechanisms underlie modulation of reward learning and reduction of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The results contribute to neurophysiological theories of reward, learning, and obsessive-compulsive behavior, suggest a unifying functional role of rhythms in the beta-gamma range, and set the groundwork for the development of personalized circuit-based therapeutics for related disorders.