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Clin Neurophysiol. 1999 Nov;110(11):1953-8.

Steady-state vibration somatosensory evoked potentials: physiological characteristics and tuning function.

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Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Neurological Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.



The steady-state somatosensory evoked potentials (S-SEPs) to vibratory stimulation were recorded to characterize their physiological properties.


Vibratory stimuli were applied to the right palmar surface in 10 normal subjects. A total of 200 responses were recorded from electrodes at 2 cm posterior to C3, Cz and C4 and 2 cm anterior to C3. All responses were Fourier analyzed and the amplitudes of the first (1F) and second (2F) harmonic components were thus obtained. The effects of modulation frequency (5-30 Hz) and stimulus intensity (0.001-0.1 Newton (N)) on S-SEPs were studied.


The amplitudes of 1F and 2F were greatest at the electrode 2 cm posterior to C3, 1F being predominant. The mean 1F amplitudes as a function of modulation frequency showed a bimodal distribution with a trough at 14 Hz and a peak at 21 Hz. The mean 1F amplitudes showed a linear increase of up to 0.05 N and thereafter reached a plateau against the logarithmic stimulus intensity axis.


Vibratory S-SEPs may originate from the primary somatosensory cortex and provide information on the fast-adapting mechanoreceptive afferents. The temporal resonance at 21 Hz places the somatosensory system between the visual and auditory systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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