Somatosensory off-response in humans: An MEG study

Koya Yamashiro*, Koji Inui, Naofumi Otsuru, Tetsuo Kida, Ryusuke Kakigi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


We recorded cortical activities in response to the onset and offset of a train of electrical pulses applied to the right hand in eleven healthy volunteers by the use of magnetoencephalograms to clarify temporal and spatial profiles of the somatosensory on- and off-cortical responses. Results showed that a region around the upper bank of the sylvian fissure of both hemispheres responded to the onset and offset of the stimulus, while the activity in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) of the hemisphere contralateral to the stimulation was clear only for the onset response. The SI activity consisted of two components suggesting that two distinct populations of neurons in SI were involved in processing a train of pulses. The location of the source of activity in the contralateral para-sylvian region (cPara) differed significantly between the on- and off-response, while that of the activity in the ipsilateral para-sylvian region (iPara) did not. The differences in location of the cPara activity might be caused by the overlapping of several cortical activities in response to each stimulus and stimulus event (on and off events), while the iPara activity might reflect purely the event-related response. Moreover, some subjects had clear iPara activity without cPara activity especially in the off-response, suggesting the iPara activity to be independent of the cPara activity. We consider that activities in the parasylvian region are involved in the detection of changes at the body's surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1363-1368
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Feb 15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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