Roughness is the most important feature for texture discrimination. Here we investigate how the bilateral cortical representation of touch is modulated by tactile roughness by analyzing the neural responses elicited by stimuli with various coarseness levels ranging from fine to medium. A prolonged stimulation was delivered to 10 healthy subjects by passively sliding tactile stimuli under the fingertip while recording the EEG to study the modulation of Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SEPs) as well as activity in the theta and alpha bands. Elicited long-latency SEPs, namely bilateral P100-N140 and frontal P240 were consistent across stimuli. On the contrary, the temporal lag N140 – P240 was nonlinearly modulated both in contralateral and ipsilateral sides, in agreement with literature. Using a time-frequency analysis approach, we identified a theta band power increase in the [0 0.5]s interval and a partially overlapped power decrease in the alpha band which lasted throughout the stimulation. The estimated time these two phenomena were overlapped was comparable across stimuli, whereas a linear decrease in alpha band amplitude was reported when increasing the stimulus roughness in both contralateral and ipsilateral sides. This study showed that the selected tactile stimuli generated physiological bilateral responses that were modulated in a diversified way according to the stimulus roughness and side. Specifically, we identified sensory processing features (i.e., theta and alpha time overlap) invariant to the stimulus roughness (i.e., associated to a basic cortical mechanism of touch) and roughness-dependent cortical outputs comparable in the contralateral and ipsilateral sides that confirm a bilateral processing of tactile information.
|Titolo:||Bilateral cortical representation of tactile roughness|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo su Rivista/Article|