Subcortical Interactions Between Somatosensory Stimuli of Different Modalities and Their Temporal Profile

João Costa, Josep Valls-Solé, Francesc Valldeoriola, Jordi Rumià
2008 Journal of Neurophysiology  
Costa J, Valls-Solé J, Valldeoriola F, Rumià J. Subcortical interactions between somatosensory stimuli of different modalities and their temporal profile. . Interactions between inputs of different sensory modality occur along the sensory pathway, including the thalamus. However, the temporal profile of such interaction has not been fully studied. In eight patients who had been implanted an intrathalamic electrode for deep brain stimulation as symptomatic treatment of tremor, we investigated
more » ... interactions between mechanical taps and electrical nerve stimuli. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) were recorded from Erb's point, cervical spinal cord, nucleus ventrointermedialis of the thalamus, and parietal cortex. A handheld electronic reflex hammer was used to deliver a mechanical tap to the skin overlying the first dorsal interosseous muscle and to trigger an ipsilateral digital median nerve electrical stimulus time-locked to the mechanical tap with a variable delay of 0 to 50 ms. There were significant time-dependent interactions between the two sensory volleys at the subcortical level. Thalamic SEPs were decreased in amplitude at interstimulus intervals (ISIs) from 10 to 40 ms with maximum effect at 20 ms (Ϫ42.8 Ϯ 10.5%; P Ͻ 0.001). A similar decrease was also seen in the number and frequency of the high-frequency components of thalamic SEPs (Ϫ25 Ϯ 4%). A smaller reduction (Ϫ18.1 Ϯ 5.8%; P Ͻ 0.001) was present in upper cervical response at ISI ϭ 20 ms. There were no changes in peripheral responses. Cortical SEPs were almost completely absent in some subjects at ISIs from 20 to 50 ms. There were no changes in SEP latencies. Our results indicate that significant time-dependent interactions between sensory volleys occur at the subcortical level. These observations provide further insight into the physiological mechanisms underlying afferent gating between sensory volleys of different modality. Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: J. Valls-
doi:10.1152/jn.90412.2008 pmid:18596185 fatcat:6b3rkx7fobbp7pwrccakrjimou