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

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1995 Mar;96(2):135-42. doi: 10.1016/0168-5597(94)00251-9.


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 (IR) 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, with 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.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fingers / innervation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meige Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Thalamic Nuclei / physiopathology