Effects of stimulus frequency and duration on somatosensory discrimination responses

Spackman, L., Boyd, S. and Towell, A. 2007. Effects of stimulus frequency and duration on somatosensory discrimination responses. Experimental Brain Research. 177 (1), pp. 21-30.

TitleEffects of stimulus frequency and duration on somatosensory discrimination responses
AuthorsSpackman, L., Boyd, S. and Towell, A.
Abstract

Somatosensory processing of duration and frequency changes was investigated using event-related potentials to vibrotactile stimuli. Intermittent vibration to the fingertips of either hand was presented using a two-stimulus odd-ball paradigm (deviant P = 0.10). One group (N = 12, 18–38 years) was presented with stimulus pairs of 20/70, 50/150 and 170/250 ms. A second group (N = 10, 19–34 years) was tested using frequency pairs of 200/70 Hz. A psychophysical study examined the subjects’ ability to discriminate between different stimulus pairs. A clear negative shift in the response to the deviant stimulus was recorded with all the stimulus conditions used in both experiments. Both frequency changes and duration increments/decrements revealed an initial negativity in the subtraction waveform with a mean onset of 90–170 ms and a following positivity, both of which were dependent on the duration of the stimulus used. A significant decrease in the amplitude of both components was observed with the 170/250 ms pairing, coinciding with a positive correlation between individual discrimination performance and amplitude. These results support the existence of a somatosensory mismatch response with features similar to those of the aMMN and highlight the relevance of the somatosensory-specific positivity. Results from the duration experiment also resolve some of the discrepancies between previous studies.

JournalExperimental Brain Research
Journal citation177 (1), pp. 21-30
ISSN0014-4819
YearFeb 2007
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s00221-006-0650-0
Publication dates
PublishedFeb 2007

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