Steady-state vibration somatosensory evoked potentials: Physiological characteristics and tuning function

Shozo Tobimatsu, You Min Zhang, Motohiro Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The steady-state somatosensory evoked potentials (S-SEPs) to vibratory stimulation were recorded to characterize their physiological properties.Methods: Vibratory stimuli were applied to the right palmar surface in 10 normal subjects. A total of 200 responses were recorded from electrodes at 2 cm posterior to C3, Cz and C4 and 2 cm anterior to C3. All responses were Fourier analyzed and the amplitudes of the first (1F) and second (2F) harmonic components were thus obtained. The effects of modulation frequency (5-30 Hz) and stimulus intensity (0.001-0.1 Newton (N)) on S-SEPs were studied.Results: The amplitudes of 1F and 2F were greatest at the electrode 2 cm posterior to C3, 1F being predominant. The mean 1F amplitudes as a function of modulation frequency showed a bimodal distribution with a trough at 14 Hz and a peak at 21 Hz. The mean 1F amplitudes showed a linear increase of up to 0.05 N and thereafter reached a plateau against the logarithmic stimulus intensity axis.Conclusion: Vibratory S-SEPs may originate from the primary somatosensory cortex and provide information on the fast-adapting mechanoreceptive afferents. The temporal resonance at 21 Hz places the somatosensory system between the visual and auditory systems. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1953-1958
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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