The use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to control severely disabling neurological and psychiatric conditions is an exciting and fast emerging area of neuroscience. Deep brain stimulation has generally the same clinical effects as a lesion with respect to the improvement of clinical disability, but has more advantages such as its adjustability and reversibility. To this day, fundamental knowledge regarding the application of electrical currents to deep brain structures is far from complete. Despite improving key symptoms in movement disorders, DBS can be associated with the occurrence of a variety of changes in cognitive and limbic functions both in humans and animals. Furthermore, in psychiatric disorders, DBS is primarily used to evoke cognitive and limbic changes to reduce the psychiatric disability. Preclinical DBS experiments have been carried out to investigate the mechanisms underlying the clinical effects of DBS for at least three (interrelated) reasons: to increase our scientific knowledge, to optimize/refine the technology, or to prevent/reduce side-effects. In this review, we will discuss the limbic and cognitive effects of DBS in preclinical studies.