The interaction of the somatosensory evoked potentials to simultaneous finger stimuli in the human central nervous system. A study using direct recordings

Hsieh Ching-Liang Hsieh, Shima Fumio Shima, Tobimatsu Shozo Tobimatsu, Sun Shu-Jian Sun, Kato Motohiro Kato

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    51 Citations (Scopus)


    In order to investigate the interaction of sensory electrophysiologic fields arising from the adjacent second (II) and third (III) fingers and the distant second and fifth (V) fingers, direct recordings of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) were performed from the sensory and motor cortices, the sensory thalamic nucleus (nucleus ventralis caudalis, VC) and the cuneate nucleus in humans during neurosurgical operations. Electrical stimulation was given to the II, III or V fingers individually, and also to pairs of either the II and III fingers or the II and V fingers simultaneously. The interaction ratio OR) was devised as the ratio of amplitude attenuation caused by the simultaneous stimulation to two fingers compared with the amplitude of the arithmetically summed SEPs to the individual stimulation of two fingers. The IRs were calculated on N20 and P25 from the sensory cortex, P22 from the motor cortex, P17thal from the VC, and N16cune and P35cune from the cuneate nucleus. With both stimulations to the II and III fingers and the II and V fingers, P25 showed the greatest IR, followed by P22, then by P17thal while N16cune exhibited the smallest IR. N20 and P35cune showed similar IRs and significantly greater IRs with II and III finger stimulation compared with II and V finger stimulation. These results thus indicate that the interaction of somatosensory impulses occurs in several structures along the sensory pathway in CNS, including the cuneate nucleus, the sensory thalamic nucleus, as well as sensory and motor cortices, with the greatest IRs in the cerebral cortices and the weakest ones in the brain-stem. They also suggest that the receptive fields of the fingers in the cortical area generating N20 are arranged according to the order of the fingers while those in the generating sites for cortical P25 and P22, thalamic P17thal and cuneate N16cune tend to be arranged in clusters, while P35cune is possibly modulated by the somatosensory cortex through a long-loop feedback pathway.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135-142
    Number of pages8
    JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology/ Evoked Potentials
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Neuroscience(all)
    • Clinical Neurology


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