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Journal Article

BOLD Adaptation in Vibrotactile Stimulation: Neuronal Networks Involved in Frequency Discrimination

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Li Hegner, Y., Saur, R., Veit, R., Butts, R., Leiberg, S., Grodd, W., et al. (2006). BOLD Adaptation in Vibrotactile Stimulation: Neuronal Networks Involved in Frequency Discrimination. Journal of Neurophysiology, 97(1), 264-271. doi:10.1152/jn.00617.2006.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-CFB9-2
The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated human brain regions subserving the discrimination of vibrotactile frequency. An event-related adaptation paradigm was used in which blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) responses are lower to same compared with different pairs of stimuli (BOLD adaptation). This adaptation effect serves as an indicator for feature-specific responding of neuronal subpopulations. Subjects had to discriminate two vibrotactile stimuli sequentially applied with a delay of 600 ms to their left middle fingertip. The stimulus frequency was in the flutter range of 18–26 Hz. In half of the trials, the two stimuli possessed identical frequency (same), whereas in the other half, a frequency difference of ±2 Hz was used (diff). As a result, BOLD adaptation was observed in the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (S1), precentral gyrus, superior temporal gyrus (STG); ipsilateral insula as well as bilateral secondary somatosensory cortex and supplementary moto
r area. When statistically comparing the BOLD time courses between same and diff trials in these cortical areas, it was found that the vibrotactile BOLD adaptation is initiated in the contralateral S1 and STG simultaneously. These findings suggest that the cortical areas responsive to the frequency difference between two serially presented stimuli sequentially process the frequency of a vibrotactile stimulus and constitute a putative neuronal network underlying human vibrotactile frequency discrimination.