Chemosensory event-related potentials to trigeminal stimuli change in relation to the interval between repetitive stimulation of the nasal mucosa

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 1999;256(1):16-21. doi: 10.1007/s004050050115.


Event-related potentials (ERPs) to olfactory and trigeminal stimuli have been used commonly to evaluate chemosensory dysfunction. The aim of the present study was to investigate how ERPs could be modified by repetitive stimulations of the intranasal trigeminal nerve using 52% v/v CO2 stimuli for 200 ms periods. Nine subjects were exposed to 6 sessions each during which trains of 16 stimuli were applied. The interval between stimuli was constant for each experiment, but varied between experiments (10, 20, 30, 40, 60, and 90 s). Trigeminal ERPs were obtained from three positions on the skull. Both intensity ratings and ERP amplitudes decreased as the interstimulus interval (ISI) shortened. Specifically, ratings and response amplitudes were most strongly reduced by approximately 30-50% at the shortest ISI used (10 s) and were largest at an ISI of 90 s. The decrease of amplitudes was strongest for the P46 amplitude. Our findings suggest that this may be the result of both habituation and stimulus predictability. We hypothesize that the ISI dependence of chemosensory ERPs may also be a function of an interaction between Adelta and C fibers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nasal Mucosa / innervation*
  • Nasal Mucosa / physiology
  • Stimulation, Chemical
  • Trigeminal Nerve / physiology*


  • Carbon Dioxide