Sensations Evoked by Microstimulation of Single Mechanoreceptive Afferents Innervating the Human Face and Mouth
ABSTRACT Intraneural microneurography and microstimulation were performed on single afferent axons in the inferior alveolar and lingual nerves innervating the face, teeth, labial, or oral mucosa. Using natural mechanical stimuli, 35 single mechanoreceptive afferents were characterized with respect to unit type [fast adapting type I (FA I), FA hair, slowly adapting type I and II (SA I and SA II), periodontal, and deep tongue units] as well as size and shape of the receptive field. All afferents were subsequently microstimulated with pulse trains at 30 Hz lasting 1.0 s. Afferents recordings whose were stable thereafter were also tested with single pulses and pulse trains at 5 and 60 Hz. The results revealed that electrical stimulation of single FA I, FA hair, and SA I afferents from the orofacial region can evoke a percept that is spatially matched to the afferent's receptive field and consistent with the afferent's response properties as observed on natural mechanical stimulation. Stimulation of FA afferents typically evoked sensations that were vibratory in nature; whereas those of SA I afferents were felt as constant pressure. These afferents terminate superficially in the orofacial tissues and seem to have a particularly powerful access to perceptual levels. In contrast, microstimulation of single periodontal, SA II, and deep tongue afferents failed to evoke a sensation that matched the receptive field of the afferent. These afferents terminate more deeply in the tissues, are often active in the absence of external stimulation, and probably access perceptual levels only when multiple afferents are stimulated. It is suggested that the spontaneously active afferents that monitor tension in collagen fibers (SA II and periodontal afferents) may have the role to register the mechanical state of the soft tissues, which has been hypothesized to help maintain the body's representation in the central somatosensory system.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Mats Trulsson, Apr 14, 2014
- SourceAvailable from: Adam van CasterenAnnales Zoologici Fennici 04/2014; 51:143-152. · 1.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: The present study was designed to clarify whether the bilateral cooperation in the human periodontal-masseteric reflex (PMR) differs between central incisors and canines. Methods: Surface array electrodes were placed on the bilateral masseter muscles to simultaneously record the firing activities of single motor units from both sides in seven healthy adults. During light clenching, mechanical stimulation was applied to the right maxillary central incisor and canine to evoke the PMR. Unitary activity was plotted with respect to the background activity and firing frequency. The slope of the regression line (sRL) and the correlation coefficient (CC) between the central incisor and canine and the lateral differences between these values were compared. Results: There were significant differences in the sRL and CC, as well as lateral differences, between the central incisor- and canine-driven PMR. Discussion: These results suggest that the PMR differs depending on both the tooth position and laterality.Frontiers in Physiology 06/2012; 3:233. DOI:10.3389/fphys.2012.00233 · 3.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The tactile sensitivity of the teeth, and associated periodontium, serves important sensory and motor functions. Microneurographic recordings from human periodontal ligament mechanoreceptor (PDLM) nerves, in response to tooth loading, reveal discharge patterns with sole slowly adapting (SA) II-type characteristics, highlighting the unique role of PDLMs in oral sensory processes. Here we investigate these receptors' properties, psychophysically and with neuroimaging (fMRI), in response to varying frequencies of dynamic (vibrotactile) stimulation. The finding of increased activity in primary (SI) and secondary (SII) somatosensory cortices (SI and SII) at low frequencies of stimulation (20 Hz) as compared with higher frequencies (50 and 100 Hz), shows an increased entrainment of the PDLMs at this lower frequency in line with expected SA II-type response properties. At the highest frequency (100 Hz), no significant activity was found in SI or SII, suggesting this frequency is outside the range of activity of PDLMs. An activation matrix is mapped that includes SI, SII, insular, inferior frontal gyrus, inferior parietal lobe and supplementary motor area as well as middle frontal gyrus and cerebellum. We compared the responses to tooth stimulation with those produced by identical vibrotactile stimulation of the finger. The results strongly suggest that the PDLMs play a significant role in the specification of the forces used to hold and manipulate food between teeth, and in these respects, the masticatory system appears analogous to fine finger-control mechanisms used during precision manipulation of small objects. Because fMRI reveals activations in posterior insular cortex, we also speculate that PDLMs, and SA II-type receptors in general, may be involved in one aspect of the feeling of body ownership.Journal of Neurophysiology 10/2010; 104(4):2257-65. DOI:10.1152/jn.00565.2010 · 3.04 Impact Factor