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Somatosensory temporal discrimination

Elena Antelmi, Roberto Erro, Lorenzo Rocchi, Rocco Liguori, Michele Tinazzi, Flavio Di Stasio, Alfredo Berardelli, John C Rothwell, Kailash P Bhatia
BACKGROUND: Somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold is often prolonged in patients with dystonia. Previous evidence suggested that this might be caused by impaired somatosensory processing in the time domain. Here, we tested if other markers of reduced inhibition in the somatosensory system might also contribute to abnormal somatosensory temporal discrimination in dystonia. METHODS: Somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold was measured in 19 patients with isolated cervical dystonia and 19 age-matched healthy controls...
September 27, 2016: Movement Disorders: Official Journal of the Movement Disorder Society
Antonella Conte, Daniele Belvisi, Nicoletta Manzo, Matteo Bologna, Francesca Barone, Matteo Tartaglia, Neeraj Upadhyay, Alfredo Berardelli
The somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT) is the shortest interval at which an individual recognizes paired stimuli as separate in time. We investigated whether and how voluntary movement modulates STDT in healthy subjects. In 17 healthy participants, we tested STDT during voluntary index-finger abductions at several time-points after movement onset and during motor preparation. We then tested whether voluntary movement-induced STDT changes were specific for the body segment moved, depended on movement kinematics, on the type of movement or on the intensity for delivering paired electrical stimuli for STDT To understand the mechanisms underlying STDT modulation, we also tested STDT during motor imagery and after delivering repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to elicit excitability changes in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1)...
September 2016: Physiological Reports
Lotta Fornander, Tom Brismar, Thomas Hansson, Heidi Wikström
We have previously shown age- and time-dependent effects on brain activity in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of patients with median nerve injury. Whereas fMRI measures the hemodynamic changes in response to increased neural activity, magnetoencephalography (MEG) offers a more concise way of examining the evoked response, with superior temporal resolution. We therefore wanted to combine these imaging techniques to gain additional knowledge of the plasticity processes in response to median nerve injury...
September 20, 2016: Somatosensory & Motor Research
Doga Vuralli, H Evren Boran, Bulent Cengiz, Ozlem Coskun, Hayrunnisa Bolay
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Migraine headache attacks have been shown to be accompanied by significant prolongation of somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold values, supporting signs of disrupted sensorial processing in migraine. Chronic migraine is one of the most debilitating and challenging headache disorders with no available biomarker. We aimed to test the diagnostic value of somatosensory temporal discrimination for chronic migraine in this prospective, controlled study. METHODS: Fifteen chronic migraine patients and 15 healthy controls completed the study...
October 2016: Headache
Leah M McGuire, Gregory Telian, Keven J Laboy-Juárez, Toshio Miyashita, Daniel J Lee, Katherine A Smith, Daniel E Feldman
Rodent whisker input consists of dense microvibration sequences that are often temporally integrated for perceptual discrimination. Whether primary somatosensory cortex (S1) participates in temporal integration is unknown. We trained rats to discriminate whisker impulse sequences that varied in single-impulse kinematics (5-20-ms time scale) and mean speed (150-ms time scale). Rats appeared to use the integrated feature, mean speed, to guide discrimination in this task, consistent with similar prior studies...
August 2016: PLoS Biology
Antonella Conte, Giorgio Leodori, Gina Ferrazzano, Maria I De Bartolo, Nicoletta Manzo, Giovanni Fabbrini, Alfredo Berardelli
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT) is already altered at the clinical onset of Parkinson's disease (PD) and whether STDT abnormalities correlate with disease progression we tested STDT values in patients with different severity of disease. METHODS: We prospectively and consecutively enrolled 63 PD patients: 26 drug-naive PD patients with symptom onset no longer than two years prior to inclusion in the study (early-phase), 37 PD patients with varying degrees of disease severity and 51 age-matched healthy subjects...
September 2016: Clinical Neurophysiology: Official Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology
Natalie K Trzcinski, Manuel Gomez-Ramirez, Steven S Hsiao
Continuous training enhances perceptual discrimination and promotes neural changes in areas encoding the experienced stimuli. This type of experience-dependent plasticity has been demonstrated in several sensory and motor systems. Particularly, non-human primates trained to detect consecutive tactile bar indentations across multiple digits showed expanded excitatory receptive fields (RFs) in somatosensory cortex. However, the perceptual implications of these anatomical changes remain undetermined. Here, we trained human participants for 9 days on a tactile task that promoted expansion of multi-digit RFs...
September 2016: European Journal of Neuroscience
Juan M J Ramos
Recent studies have suggested that the perirhinal cortex (Prh) supports representations of feature conjunctions in the visual modality during the acquisition/encoding of complex discriminations. To extend this idea to other sensory modalities and to another stage of the discrimination process, we studied the effect of Prh lesions on the expression of a series of tactual discrimination tasks learned preoperatively. These tasks differed from one another in the degree of feature overlap of the stimuli and in the difficulty of the task...
May 2016: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Lorenzo Rocchi, Elias Casula, Pierluigi Tocco, Alfredo Berardelli, John Rothwell
UNLABELLED: Somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT) is defined as the shortest time interval necessary for a pair of tactile stimuli to be perceived as separate. Although STDT is altered in several neurological disorders, its neural bases are not entirely clear. We used continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) to condition the excitability of the primary somatosensory cortex in healthy humans to examine its possible contribution to STDT. Excitability was assessed using the recovery cycle of the N20 component of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) and the area of high-frequency oscillations (HFO)...
January 13, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Pichet Termsarasab, Ritesh A Ramdhani, Giovanni Battistella, Estee Rubien-Thomas, Melissa Choy, Ian M Farwell, Miodrag Velickovic, Andrew Blitzer, Steven J Frucht, Richard B Reilly, Michael Hutchinson, Laurie J Ozelius, Kristina Simonyan
Aberrant sensory processing plays a fundamental role in the pathophysiology of dystonia; however, its underpinning neural mechanisms in relation to dystonia phenotype and genotype remain unclear. We examined temporal and spatial discrimination thresholds in patients with isolated laryngeal form of dystonia (LD), who exhibited different clinical phenotypes (adductor vs. abductor forms) and potentially different genotypes (sporadic vs. familial forms). We correlated our behavioral findings with the brain gray matter volume and functional activity during resting and symptomatic speech production...
2016: NeuroImage: Clinical
H Evren Boran, Bülent Cengiz, Hayrunnisa Bolay
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Symptoms and signs of sensorial disturbances are characteristic features of a migraine headache. Somatosensory temporal discrimination measures the temporal threshold to perceive two separate somaesthetic stimuli as clearly distinct. This study aimed to evaluate somaesthetic perception in migraine patients by measuring the somatosensory temporal discrimination thresholds. METHODS: The study included 12 migraine patients without aura and 12 volunteers without headache...
January 2016: Headache
Michael Barnett-Cowan, Jacqueline C Snow, Jody C Culham
Sensory information provided by the vestibular system is crucial in cognitive processes such as the ability to recognize objects. The orientation at which objects are most easily recognized--the perceptual upright (PU)--is influenced by body orientation with respect to gravity as detected from the somatosensory and vestibular systems. To date, the influence of these sensory cues on the PU has been measured using a letter recognition task. Here we assessed whether gravitational influences on letter recognition also extend to human face recognition...
2015: Multisensory Research
Joao M Correia, Bernadette M B Jansma, Milene Bonte
UNLABELLED: The brain's circuitry for perceiving and producing speech may show a notable level of overlap that is crucial for normal development and behavior. The extent to which sensorimotor integration plays a role in speech perception remains highly controversial, however. Methodological constraints related to experimental designs and analysis methods have so far prevented the disentanglement of neural responses to acoustic versus articulatory speech features. Using a passive listening paradigm and multivariate decoding of single-trial fMRI responses to spoken syllables, we investigated brain-based generalization of articulatory features (place and manner of articulation, and voicing) beyond their acoustic (surface) form in adult human listeners...
November 11, 2015: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
C Guglielmetti, J Veraart, E Roelant, Z Mai, J Daans, J Van Audekerke, M Naeyaert, G Vanhoutte, R Delgado Y Palacios, J Praet, E Fieremans, P Ponsaerts, J Sijbers, A Van der Linden, M Verhoye
Although MRI is the gold standard for the diagnosis and monitoring of multiple sclerosis (MS), current conventional MRI techniques often fail to detect cortical alterations and provide little information about gliosis, axonal damage and myelin status of lesioned areas. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) provide sensitive and complementary measures of the neural tissue microstructure. Additionally, specific white matter tract integrity (WMTI) metrics modelling the diffusion in white matter were recently derived...
January 15, 2016: NeuroImage
Thomas J Baumgarten, Alfons Schnitzler, Joachim Lange
Whether seeing a movie, listening to a song, or feeling a breeze on the skin, we coherently experience these stimuli as continuous, seamless percepts. However, there are rare perceptual phenomena that argue against continuous perception but, instead, suggest discrete processing of sensory input. Empirical evidence supporting such a discrete mechanism, however, remains scarce and comes entirely from the visual domain. Here, we demonstrate compelling evidence for discrete perceptual sampling in the somatosensory domain...
September 29, 2015: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
André Luís Porporatti, Yuri Martins Costa, Juliana Stuginski-Barbosa, Leonardo Rigoldi Bonjardim, Marco Antônio Hungaro Duarte, Paulo César Rodrigues Conti
INTRODUCTION: A differential diagnosis between inflammatory toothache (IT) and intraoral neuropathic pain is challenging. The aim of this diagnostic study was to quantify somatosensory function of subjects with IT (acute pulpitis) and atypical odontalgia (AO, intraoral neuropathic pain) and healthy volunteers and to quantify how accurately quantitative sensory testing (QST) discriminates an IT or AO diagnosis. METHODS: The sample consisted of 60 subjects equally divided (n = 20) into 3 groups: (1) IT, (2) AO, and (3) control...
October 2015: Journal of Endodontics
Louise C Bannister, Sheila G Crewther, Maria Gavrilescu, Leeanne M Carey
BACKGROUND: Distributed brain networks are known to be involved in facilitating behavioral improvement after stroke, yet few, if any, studies have investigated the relationship between improved touch sensation after stroke and changes in functional brain connectivity. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to identify how recovery of somatosensory function in the first 6 months after stroke was associated with functional network changes as measured using resting-state connectivity analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data...
2015: Frontiers in Neurology
Tomás Ortiz Alonso, Juan Matías Santos, Laura Ortiz Terán, Mayelin Borrego Hernández, Joaquín Poch Broto, Gabriel Alejandro de Erausquin
Compared to their seeing counterparts, people with blindness have a greater tactile capacity. Differences in the physiology of object recognition between people with blindness and seeing people have been well documented, but not when tactile stimuli require semantic processing. We used a passive vibrotactile device to focus on the differences in spatial brain processing evaluated with event related potentials (ERP) in children with blindness (n = 12) vs. normally seeing children (n = 12), when learning a simple spatial task (lines with different orientations) or a task involving recognition of letters, to describe the early stages of its temporal sequence (from 80 to 220 msec) and to search for evidence of multi-modal cortical organization...
2015: PloS One
Falk Mancke, Sabine C Herpertz, Katja Bertsch
This article proposes a multidimensional model of aggression in borderline personality disorder (BPD) from the perspective of the biobehavioral dimensions of affective dysregulation, impulsivity, threat hypersensitivity, and empathic functioning. It summarizes data from studies that investigated these biobehavioral dimensions using self-reports, behavioral tasks, neuroimaging, neurochemistry as well as psychophysiology, and identifies the following alterations: (a) affective dysregulation associated with prefrontal-limbic imbalance, enhanced heart rate reactivity, skin conductance, and startle response; (b) impulsivity also associated with prefrontal-limbic imbalance, central serotonergic dysfunction, more electroencephalographic slow wave activity, and reduced P300 amplitude in a 2-tone discrimination task; (c) threat hypersensitivity associated with enhanced perception of anger in ambiguous facial expressions, greater speed and number of reflexive eye movements to angry eyes (shown to be compensated by exogenous oxytocin), enhanced P100 amplitude in response to blends of happy versus angry facial expressions, and prefrontal-limbic imbalance; (d) reduced cognitive empathy associated with reduced activity in the superior temporal sulcus/gyrus and preliminary findings of lower oxytocinergic and higher vasopressinergic activity; and (e) reduced self-other differentiation associated with greater emotional simulation and hyperactivation of the somatosensory cortex...
July 2015: Personality Disorders
Roberto Erro, Lorenzo Rocchi, Elena Antelmi, Raffaele Palladino, Michele Tinazzi, John Rothwell, Kailash P Bhatia
OBJECTIVE: High frequency electrical stimulation of an area of skin on a finger improves two-point spatial discrimination in the stimulated area, likely depending on plastic changes in the somatosensory cortex. However, it is unknown whether improvement also applies to temporal discrimination. METHODS: Twelve young and ten elderly volunteers underwent the stimulation protocol onto the palmar skin of the right index finger. Somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT) was evaluated before and immediately after stimulation as well as 2...
January 2016: Clinical Neurophysiology: Official Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology
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