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Oscillatory Characteristics of Nociceptive Responses in the SII Cortex

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 December 2014

Fu-Jung Hsiao
Institute of Physiology, National Yang-Ming University Institute of Brain Science, National Yang-Ming University Department of Medical Research and Education, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Wei-Ta Chen
Institute of Brain Science, National Yang-Ming University Institute of Neuroscience, National Yang-Ming University Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Kwong-Kum Liao
Department of Neurology, National Yang-Ming University Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Zin-An Wu
Department of Neurology, National Yang-Ming University Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Low-Tone Ho
Institute of Physiology, National Yang-Ming University Department of Medical Research and Education, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Yung-Yang Lin*
Institute of Physiology, National Yang-Ming University Institute of Brain Science, National Yang-Ming University Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University Department of Medical Research and Education, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Department of Medical Research and Education, and Department of Neurology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No.201, Sec.2, Shih-Pai Rd., Taipei 112, Taiwan.
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This study is aimed to explore the frequency characteristics of pain-evoked neuromagnetic responses in the secondary somatosensory (SII) cortices.


Thulium-laser nociceptive stimuli to the left hand dorsum of 10 right-handed healthy adults. The pain stimuli were rated as mild, moderate, and severe levels according to subjects' reports on a 10-point visual analog scale. We analyzed their cortical responses with wavelet-based frequency analyses and equivalent current dipole (ECD) modeling.


For each pain level, we found an increase of theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) power in bilateral SII areas at 180-210 ms after stimulus onset. The power was larger for the moderate than for the mild pain level (p < 0.05), but there was no statistical power difference of these oscillations between moderate and severe pain stimulus conditions (p = 0.7). Within the SII area, we did not observe particular difference in theta and alpha ECD locations between varying pain level conditions.


The 4-13 Hz activities, peaking from 180 to 210 ms, are oscillatory correlates of SII activation in response to nociceptive stimulation, but their power may code the magnitude of pain stimuli only up to moderate level, as rated subjectively. This measure could be potentially used to evaluate SII activation in further pain studies.



Le but de cette étude était d'explorer les caractéristiques des fréquences des réponses neuromagnétiques évoquées par la douleur dans les cortex somatosensitifs secondaires (SII).


Des stimuli nociceptifs au laser-thulium ont été appliqués à la face dorsale de la main gauche de 10 adultes droitiers en bonne santé. Les stimuli douloureux étaient évalués comme étant légers, modérés ou sévères par les sujets au moyen d'une échelle analogue visuelle de 10 points. Nous avons analysé leurs réponses corticales au moyen d'analyses fréquentielles par ondelettes et de modélisation d'un dipôle de courant équivalent (DCÉ).


Pour chaque niveau de douleur, nous avons observé une augmentation de puissance thêta (4-8 Hz) et alpha (8-13 Hz) dans les aires SI bilatérales, 180 à 210 ms après le début du stimulus. La puissance était plus grande lors de la douleur modérée par rapport à la douleur légère (p < 0,05), mais il n'y avait pas de différence statistique dans la puissance de ces oscillations entre la douleur modérée ou sévère (p = 0,7). Nous n'avons pas observé de différence particulière dans la localisation DCÉ thêta et alpha dans la zone SII selon les niveaux de douleur.


Les activités 4- 13 Hz, dont le pic était observé entre 180 et 210 ms, sont des corrélats oscillatoires de l'activation au niveau du SII en réponse à une stimulation nociceptive, mais leur puissance peut témoigner de l'ampleur de stimuli douloureux seulement jusqu'à un niveau modéré, évalué subjectivement. Cette mesure pourrait potentiellement être utilisée pour évaluer l'activation SII dans des études ultérieures sur la douleur.

Research Article
Copyright © The Canadian Journal of Neurological 2008


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