Somatotopic source arrangement of 600 Hz oscillatory magnetic fields at the human primary somatosensory hand cortex

Neurosci Lett. 1997 Oct 3;234(2-3):131-4. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(97)00690-3.


Based on low-noise superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) magnetoencephalography allows the non-invasive detection of low-amplitude high-frequency brain responses evoked about 20 ms after electric hand nerve stimulation. The main spectral energy of these brief oscillatory bursts (near 600 Hz) is in the range typical for rapidly repeated action potentials. Here, the magnetic fields of median and ulnar nerve evoked 600 Hz bursts are shown to exhibit a somatotopic arrangement at the primary somatosensory hand cortex closely resembling that of the concomitant postsynaptic primary cortical response (¿N20m'). Two possible burst generators are discussed: (1) repetitive spike volleys conducted along the terminal segments of somatotopically arranged thalamocortical axons, and (2) early intracortical spike activity in nerve-specific subterritories of the 3b hand area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Hand / innervation*
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography*
  • Oscillometry
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*