Direct Electrical Stimulation of the Human Entorhinal Region and Hippocampus Impairs Memory

Joshua Jacobs, Jonathan Miller, Sang Ah Lee, Tom Coffey, Andrew J. Watrous, Michael R. Sperling, Ashwini Sharan, Gregory Worrell, Brent Berry, Bradley Lega, Barbara C. Jobst, Kathryn Davis, Robert E. Gross, Sameer A. Sheth, Youssef Ezzyat, Sandhitsu R. Das, Joel Stein, Richard Gorniak, Michael J. Kahana, Daniel S. Rizzuto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has shown promise for treating a range of brain disorders and neurological conditions. One recent study showed that DBS in the entorhinal region improved the accuracy of human spatial memory. Based on this line of work, we performed a series of experiments to more fully characterize the effects of DBS in the medial temporal lobe on human memory. Neurosurgical patients with implanted electrodes performed spatial and verbal-episodic memory tasks. During the encoding periods of both tasks, subjects received electrical stimulation at 50 Hz. In contrast to earlier work, electrical stimulation impaired memory performance significantly in both spatial and verbal tasks. Stimulation in both the entorhinal region and hippocampus caused decreased memory performance. These findings indicate that the entorhinal region and hippocampus are causally involved in human memory and suggest that refined methods are needed to use DBS in these regions to improve memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-990
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 7 2016


  • deep brain stimulation
  • entorhinal cortex
  • hippocampus
  • memory
  • navigation
  • theta oscillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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