Time-varying activation of different cytoarchitectonic areas of the human SI cortex after tibial nerve stimulation

Neuroimage. 1996 Oct;4(2):111-8. doi: 10.1006/nimg.1996.0035.


We followed cortical activation in eight healthy adults after electric stimulation of the left tibial nerve at the ankle. The recordings were made noninvasively with a whole-scalp neuromagnetometer. The first cortical activation peaked in different subjects at 37-45 ms in the foot area of the right (contralateral) primary somato-sensory (SI) cortex, with mean source current orientation perpendicular to the longitudinal fissure. The current orientation changed within the next 5 ms counterclockwise in all subjects, with a mean rotation of 64 degrees. A two-dipole time-varying model, with two dipoles differing by 28-119 degrees in orientation but less than 1 cm in location in the right SI cortex, explained the signal pattern satisfactorily during the first 100 ms. We suggest that the observed field patterns reflect sequential activation of different cytoarchitectonic areas in the foot SI cortex and imply considerable differences in the structural organization between the foot and the hand SI cortices. The initial activation is considered to take place in area 3b facing the interhemispheric fissure, and the later source, due to the systematic rotations of the field patterns, is assumed to reflect activation of area 5 in the anterior wall of the marginal ramus of the cingulate sulcus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Computer Systems
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Magnetoencephalography / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*
  • Sural Nerve / physiology
  • Tibial Nerve / physiology*