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Brain Res. 1990 Dec 17;536(1-2):69-78.

Modulation of cutaneous cortical evoked potentials during isometric and isotonic contractions in the monkey.

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Département de Physiologie, Université de Montréal, Que., Canada.


The effects of the direction of movement (flexion vs extension) and the nature of the motor task (isotonic vs isometric) on the modulation of sensory cortical evoked responses to cutaneous stimulation were investigated in one monkey. Sensory responses were assessed by measuring the magnitude of the short latency component of air puff-evoked potentials recorded intracortically in the arm representation of areas 3b and 1 in the primary somatosensory cortex. At most recording sites, it was found that the amplitude of the air puff-evoked potential was decreased in a non-specific manner by motor activity. Neither the timing nor the depth of the modulation were found to vary with either the direction or the type of contraction. The effects were widespread since inputs from practically the entire forelimb (hairy skin) were diminished during the motor tasks. These results thus show that the modulation was more closely linked to the central motor output than to the peripheral input generated by muscle force and/or limb displacement. It is suggested that signals originating from central motor structures, acting in a feedforward manner, play a major role in 'gating' cutaneous inputs during movement. It is further suggested that the centrally mediated effects are exerted via a final common pathway upon which the 'gating' signals converge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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