Objective: Somatosensory evoked magnetic fields (SEFs) were recorded to investigate the interaction of the somatosensory inputs using the modality of electrical finger stimulation in 6 normal subjects .Methods: Electrical stimuli were given to the index (II), middle (III) or little (V) fingers individually, and also to pairs of either the II and III simultaneously, or the II and V simultaneously. The interaction ratio (IR) was calculated as the ratio of the SEF amplitude by simultaneous two-finger stimulation to the arithmetically summed SEF amplitudes of two individual-finger stimulations. Results: SEFs showed 3 major components: N22m, P30m and P60m. The N22m and P60m revealed a clear somatotopic organization in the primary sensory cortex (S1) in the sequence of II, III and V, while the P30m showed a cluster with medial location compared with N22m and P60m in S1. The N22m had a significantly greater IR in II and III stimulation compared to that in II and V stimulation. The P60m also showed a similar trend in the IR but was greater than that of N22m. In contrast, the IR in P30m showed no such tendency. Conclusion: The interaction of S1 was most influenced when adjacent receptive fields were activated in the modality of electrical finger stimulation. Our results were consistent with the concept that the Brodmann's areas in S1 which produce the 3 components of the SEFs have different functional organization. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
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