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Comparison of somatosensory evoked fields to airpuff and electric stimuli.

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Low Temperature Laboratory, Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland.


We recorded somatosensory evoked magnetic fields (SEFs) from 6 healthy subjects with a 122-channel whole-scalp SQUID gradiometer. In separate experiments, airpuff stimuli were delivered to the dorsum of the proximal phalanx of the middle finger, and electric stimuli were delivered to the median nerve at the wrist; the interstimulus interval was 3 sec and left and right hands were stimulated in subsequent sessions. Airpuffs evoked clear and reproducible responses in all subjects. First responses were recorded over the SI cortex. All subjects showed SII responses both to contra- and ipsilateral airpuffs. The posterior parietal source, identified previously to electric stimulation, was activated also by airpuffs, but only in the right hemisphere. The earliest responses from SI were smaller in amplitude and longer in latency to airpuffs than to electric stimuli; the long-latency responses arising from the other somatosensory areas did not differ significantly.

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