Effects of dopaminergic and subthalamic stimulation on musical performance.
Although subthalamic-deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) is an efficient treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD), its effects on fine motor functions are not clear. We present the case of a professional violinist with PD treated with STN-DBS. DBS improved musical articulation, intonation and emotional expression and worsened timing relative to a timekeeper (metronome). The same effects were found for dopaminergic treatment. These results suggest that STN-DBS, mimicking the effects of dopaminergic stimulation, improves fine-tuned motor behaviour whilst impairing timing precision.