Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neurophysiol Clin. 2012 Oct;42(5):315-23. doi: 10.1016/j.neucli.2012.05.005. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Steady-state evoked potentials to study the processing of tactile and nociceptive somatosensory input in the human brain.

Author information

1
Institute of Neuroscience (IONS), université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium. elisabeth.colon@uclouvain.be

Abstract

The periodic presentation of a sensory stimulus induces, at certain frequencies of stimulation, a sustained electroencephalographic response of corresponding frequency, known as steady-state evoked potentials (SS-EP). In visual, auditory and vibrotactile modalities, studies have shown that SS-EP reflect mainly activity originating from early, modality-specific sensory cortices. Furthermore, it has been shown that SS-EP have several advantages over the recording of transient event-related brain potentials (ERP), such as a high signal-to-noise ratio, a shorter time to obtain reliable signals, and the capacity to frequency-tag the cortical activity elicited by concurrently presented sensory stimuli. Recently, we showed that SS-EP can be elicited by the selective activation of skin nociceptors and that nociceptive SS-EP reflect the activity of a population of neurons that is spatially distinct from the somatotopically-organized population of neurons underlying vibrotactile SS-EP. Hence, the recording of SS-EP offers a unique opportunity to study the cortical representation of nociception and touch in humans, and to explore their potential crossmodal interactions. Here, (1) we review available methods to achieve the rapid periodic stimulation of somatosensory afferents required to elicit SS-EP, (2) review previous studies that have characterized vibrotactile and nociceptive SS-EP, (3) discuss the nature of the recorded signals and their relationship with transient event-related potentials and (4) outline future perspectives and potential clinical applications of this technique.

PMID:
23040702
DOI:
10.1016/j.neucli.2012.05.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center