Early gamma-oscillations as correlate of localized nociceptive processing

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Early gamma-oscillations as correlate of localized nociceptive processing in primary sensorimotor cortex.

Abstract
Recent studies put forward the idea that stimulus-evoked gamma-band oscillations (GBOs; 30-100 Hz) play a specific role in nociception. So far, evidence for the specificity of GBOs for nociception, their possible involvement in nociceptive sensory discriminatory abilities and knowledge regarding their cortical sources is just starting to grow. To address these questions, we used electroencephalography (EEG) to record brain activity evoked by phasic nociceptive laser stimuli and tactile stimuli applied at different intensities to the right hand and foot of 12 healthy volunteers. The EEG was analyzed in the time domain to extract phase-locked event-related brain potentials (ERPs), and in three regions of interest in the time-frequency domain (delta/theta, 40 Hz gamma, 70 Hz gamma) to extract stimulus-evoked changes in the magnitude of non-phase locked brain oscillations. Both nociceptive and tactile stimuli, matched with respect to subjective intensity, elicited phase locked ERPs of increasing amplitude with increasing stimulus intensity. In contrast, only nociceptive stimuli elicited a significant enhancement of GBOs (65-85 Hz, 150-230 ms after stimulus onset), whose magnitude encoded stimulus intensity, whereas tactile stimuli led to a GBO decrease. Following nociceptive hand stimulation, the topographical distribution of GBOs was maximal at contralateral electrode C3, whereas maximum activity following foot stimulation was recorded at the midline electrode Cz, compatible with generation of GBOs in the representations of the hand and foot of the primary sensorimotor cortex, respectively. The differential behavior of high frequency GBOs and low frequency 40 Hz GBOs is indicating different functional roles and regions in sensory processing.

PMID: 32208893 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

J Neurophysiol. 2020 Mar 25;:

Authors: Heid C, Mouraux A, Treede RD, Schuh-Hofer S, Rupp A, Baumgärtner U

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