Centrifugal regulation of human cortical responses to a task-relevant somatosensory signal triggering voluntary movement

Tetsuo Kida*, Toshiaki Wasaka, Koji Inui, Kosuke Akatsuka, Hiroki Nakata, Ryusuke Kakigi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Many studies have reported a movement-related modulation of response in the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices (SI and SII) to a task-irrelevant stimulation in primates. In the present study, magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to examine the top-down centrifugal regulation of neural responses in the human SI and SII to a task-relevant somatosensory signal triggering a voluntary movement. Nine healthy adults participated in the study. A visual warning signal was followed 2 s later by a somatosensory imperative signal delivered to the right median nerve at the wrist. Three kinds of warning signal informed the participants of the reaction which should be executed on presentation of the imperative signal (rest or extension of the right index finger, extension of the left index finger). The somatosensory stimulation was used to both generate neural responses and trigger voluntary movement and therefore was regarded as a task-relevant signal. The responses were recorded using a whole-head MEG system. The P35m response around the SI was reduced in magnitude without alteration of the primary SI response, N20m, when the signal triggered a voluntary movement compared to the control condition, whereas bilateral SII responses peaking at 70-100 ms were enhanced and the peak latency was shortened. The peak latency of the responses in the SI and SII preceded the onset of the earliest voluntary muscle activation in each subject. Later bilateral perisylvian responses were also enhanced with movement. In conclusion, neural activities in the SI and SII evoked by task-relevant somatosensory signals are regulated differently by motor-related neural activities before the afferent inputs. The present findings indicate a difference in function between the SI and SII in somatosensory-motor regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355-1364
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Sept


  • Action
  • Attention
  • Gating
  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
  • Somatosensory evoked magnetic fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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