Contribution of cutaneous and muscle afferent fibres to cortical SEPs following median and radial nerve stimulation in man

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. Sep-Oct 1988;71(5):331-5. doi: 10.1016/0168-5597(88)90035-4.


Somatosensory evoked potentials were recorded after stimulation of motor and cutaneous nerves in the upper limb. Stimulation of the thenar motor branch of the median nerve and the deep motor branch of the radial nerve produced only broad, ill-defined and small-amplitude scalp-recorded responses. In contrast, stimulation of purely cutaneous nerves (digital and the superficial radial) gave responses of large amplitude. The cortical responses following combined deep and superficial radial nerve stimulation were of smaller amplitude than the two individual responses combined. These findings suggest that, contrary to an earlier report (Gandevia et al. 1984), muscle afferents do not make a major positive contribution to the scalp-recorded cortical responses produced by electrical stimulation of mixed nerves in the upper limb.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afferent Pathways / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory*
  • Humans
  • Median Nerve / physiology*
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Radial Nerve / physiology*
  • Skin / innervation
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena