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A case of musical preference for Johnny Cash following deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens

Research group Willuhn
Publication year 2014
Published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Authors D. Denys, Mariska H Mantione, Martijn Figee,

Music is among all cultures an important part of the live of most people. Music has psychological benefits and may generate strong emotional and physiological responses. Recently, neuroscientists have discovered that music influences the reward circuit of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), even when no explicit reward is present. In this clinical case study, we describe a 60-year old patient who developed a sudden and distinct musical preference for Johnny Cash following deep brain stimulation (DBS) targeted at the NAcc. This case report substantiates the assumption that the NAcc is involved in musical preference, based on the observation of direct stimulation of the accumbens with DBS. It also shows that accumbens DBS can change musical preference without habituation of its rewarding properties.

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