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Interhemispheric interactions between the human primary somatosensory cortices

MPS-Authors
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Ragert,  Patrick
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Nierhaus,  Till
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Berlin Neuroimaging Center (BNIC) and Department of Neurology, Charite, Berlin, Germany;

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Villringer,  Arno
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Berlin Neuroimaging Center (BNIC) and Department of Neurology, Charite, Berlin, Germany;
Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany;

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Ragert_InterhemisphericInteractions.pdf
(Publisher version), 271KB

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Citation

Ragert, P., Nierhaus, T., Cohen, L. G., & Villringer, A. (2011). Interhemispheric interactions between the human primary somatosensory cortices. PLoS One, 6(2): e16150. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016150.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-5835-7
Abstract
In the somatosensory domain it is still unclear at which processing stage information reaches the opposite hemispheres. Due to dense transcallosal connections, the secondary somatosensory cortex (S2) has been proposed to be the key candidate for interhemispheric information transfer. However, recent animal studies showed that the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) might as well account for interhemispheric information transfer. Using paired median nerve somatosensory evoked potential recordings in humans we tested the hypothesis that interhemispheric inhibitory interactions in the somatosensory system occur already in an early cortical processing stage such as S1. Conditioning right S1 by electrical median nerve (MN) stimulation of the left MN (CS) resulted in a significant reduction of the N20 response in the target (left) S1 relative to a test stimulus (TS) to the right MN alone when the interstimulus interval between CS and TS was between 20 and 25 ms. No such changes were observed for later cortical components such as the N20/P25, N30, P40 and N60 amplitude. Additionally, the subcortically generated P14 response in left S1 was also not affected. These results document the existence of interhemispheric inhibitory interactions between S1 in human subjects in the critical time interval of 20–25 ms after median nerve stimulation.