Nociceptive Intra-epidermal Electric Stimulation Evokes Steady-State Responses in the Secondary Somatosensory Cortex

Boudewijn van den Berg*, Mana Manoochehri, Alfred C. Schouten, Frans C.T. van der Helm, Jan R. Buitenweg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Recent studies have established the presence of nociceptive steady-state evoked potentials (SSEPs), generated in response to thermal or intra-epidermal electric stimuli. This study explores cortical sources and generation mechanisms of nociceptive SSEPs in response to intra-epidermal electric stimuli. Our method was to stimulate healthy volunteers (n = 22, all men) with 100 intra-epidermal pulse sequences. Each sequence had a duration of 8.5 s, and consisted of pulses with a pulse rate between 20 and 200 Hz, which was frequency modulated with a multisine waveform of 3, 7 and 13 Hz (n = 10, 1 excluded) or 3 and 7 Hz (n = 12, 1 excluded). As a result, evoked potentials in response to stimulation onset and contralateral SSEPs at 3 and 7 Hz were observed. The SSEPs at 3 and 7 Hz had an average time delay of 137 ms and 143 ms respectively. The evoked potential in response to stimulation onset had a contralateral minimum (N1) at 115 ms and a central maximum (P2) at 300 ms. Sources for the multisine SSEP at 3 and 7 Hz were found through beamforming near the primary and secondary somatosensory cortex. Sources for the N1 were found near the primary and secondary somatosensory cortex. Sources for the N2-P2 were found near the supplementary motor area. Harmonic and intermodulation frequencies in the SSEP power spectrum remained below a detectable level and no evidence for nonlinearity of nociceptive processing, i.e. processing of peripheral firing rate into cortical evoked potentials, was found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-181
JournalBrain Topography
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Beamforming
  • Evoked potentials
  • Intra-epidermal stimulation
  • Nociceptive processing
  • Source localization
  • Steady-state evoked potentials

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