Cortical contributions to sensory gating in the ipsilateral somatosensory cortex during voluntary activity

Yuming Lei, Monica Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Key points: It has long been known that the somatosensory cortex gates sensory inputs from the contralateral side of the body. Here, we examined the contribution of the ipsilateral somatosensory cortex (iS1) to sensory gating during index finger voluntary activity. The amplitude of the P25/N33, but not other somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) components, was reduced during voluntary activity compared with rest. Interhemispheric inhibition between S1s and intracortical inhibition in the S1 modulated the amplitude of the P25/N33. Note that changes in interhemispheric inhibition between S1s correlated with changes in cortical circuits in the ipsilateral motor cortex. Our findings suggest that cortical circuits, probably from somatosensory and motor cortex, contribute to sensory gating in the iS1 during voluntary activity in humans. Abstract: An important principle in the organization of the somatosensory cortex is that it processes afferent information from the contralateral side of the body. The role of the ipsilateral somatosensory cortex (iS1) in sensory gating in humans remains largely unknown. Using electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings over the iS1 and electrical stimulation of the ulnar nerve at the wrist, we examined somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs; P14/N20, N20/P25 and P25/N33 components) and paired-pulse SSEPs between S1s (interhemispheric inhibition) and within (intracortical inhibition) the iS1 at rest and during tonic index finger voluntary activity. We found that the amplitude of the P25/N33, but not other SSEP components, was reduced during voluntary activity compared with rest. Interhemispheric inhibition increased the amplitude of the P25/N33 and intracortical inhibition reduced the amplitude of the P25/N33, suggesting a cortical origin for this effect. The P25/N33 receives inputs from the motor cortex, so we also examined the contribution of distinct sets of cortical interneurons by testing the effect of ulnar nerve stimulation on motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation over the ipsilateral motor cortex with the coil in the posterior–anterior (PA) and anterior–posterior (AP) orientation. Afferent input attenuated PA, but not AP, MEPs during voluntary activity compared with rest. Notably, changes in interhemispheric inhibition correlated with changes in PA MEPs. Our novel findings suggest that interhemispheric projections between S1s and intracortical circuits, probably from somatosensory and motor cortex, contribute to sensory gating in the iS1 during voluntary activity in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6203-6217
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physiology
Volume595
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 2017

Keywords

  • cortical interneurons
  • primary motor cortex
  • sensory cortex
  • somatosensory cortex
  • somatosensory evoked potentials
  • transcallosal pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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