[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Procedures that reliably evoke cutaneous pain in humans (i.e., 5--7 s skin contact with a 47--51˚C probe, intradermal algogen injection) are shown to decrease the mean spike firing rate (MFR) and degree to which the rapidly adapting (RA) neurons in areas 3b/1 of squirrel monkey primary somatosensory cortex (SI) entrain to a 25-Hz stimulus to the receptive field center (RF center) when stimulus amplitude is ''near-threshold'' (i.e., 10--50 mm). In contrast, RA neuron MFR and entrainment are either unaffected or enhanced by 47--5C contact or intradermal algogen injection when the amplitude of 25-Hz stimulation is 100--200 mm (suprathreshold). The results are attributed to an ''activity dependence'' of g-amino-butyric acid (GABA) action on the GABA A receptors of RA neurons. The nociceptive afferent drive triggered by skin contact with a 47--5C probe or intradermal algogen is proposed to activate nociresponsive neurons in area 3a which, via corticocortical connections, leads to the release of GABA in areas 3b/1. It is hypothesized that GABA is hyperpolarizing/inhibitory and sup-presses stimulus-evoked RA neuron MFR and entrainment when-ever RA neuron activity is low (as when the RF center stimulus is weak/near-threshold) but is depolarizing/excitatory and augments MFR and entrainment when RA neuron activity is high (when the stimulus is strong/suprathreshold).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A two-interval forced-choice (2-IFC) tracking procedure was used to evaluate the effects of a 15-s pre-exposure to either 25 Hz or 200 Hz stimulation ("25 Hz or 200 Hz adaptation") on human vibrotactile frequency discrimination threshold (frequency DL/Weber fraction). Three subjects were studied. All stimuli (standard and comparison) were delivered to a central location on the thenar eminence of the hand. The frequency DL/Weber fraction was determined for each subject under the following conditions: (1) no recent prior exposure to vibrotactile stimulation ("unadapted"); (2) after 15 s adaptation to 25 Hz stimulation; and (3) after 15 s adaptation to 200 Hz stimulation. The results demonstrate that the effects of frequency of adaptation on frequency discriminative capacity when the standard stimulus is 25 Hz are not the same as when the standard stimulus is 200 Hz. The differential changes in the capacity of subjects to discriminate frequency of cutaneous flutter (10-50 Hz) or vibratory (>200 Hz) stimulation that occur subsequent to a 15-s exposure of the thenar to 25 Hz or 200 Hz stimulation are proposed to reflect frequency-specific, adaptation-induced modification of the response of contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (SI and SII) to skin mechanoreceptor afferent drive.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spike discharge activity was recorded from low-threshold, rapidly adapting, skin mechanoreceptive afferents (RA afferents) dissected from the median (forelimb) or tibial (hindlimb) nerves in anesthetized monkeys and cats. The spike activity was evoked by delivery of controlled sinusoidal vertical skin displacement ("flutter") stimuli to the receptive field (RF). The stimuli (15-30 Hz; 30-400 microm peak-to-peak amplitude; duration 0.8-15 s) were superimposed on a static skin indentation (0.5-1.0 mm) which was either maintained continuously throughout the run or applied trial-by-trial. The neural activity and the analog signal of the position of the stimulator probe were digitized at 10 kHz resolution and stored for off-line analysis. The main goal was to determine whether changes in the RA afferent response to skin flutter stimulation may be responsible for the enhanced capacity to discriminate stimulus frequency that accompanies a relatively brief (approximately 1 min) pre-exposure to such stimulation in humans. To this end, the spike train data were evaluated using methods that enabled independent measurement of entrainment and responsivity. Responsivity (response intensity) was measured as the average number of spikes/stimulus cycle, while entrainment (the degree to which evoked spike train activity is phase-locked to the stimulus) was quantitatively assessed using statistical techniques developed for the analysis of "circular" (directional) data, supplemented by methods based on the calculation of power spectra from point process data. The methods are demonstrated to enable quantification of RA afferent entrainment over a range of stimulus durations and amplitudes substantially greater than reported in previous studies. While RA afferent responsivity was found to decline to a minor extent (10-20%) both across and within stimulus trials, entrainment remained consistently high and stable, and exhibited no temporal trends or dependence on any other measured factor. The average phase angle of the entrained RA afferent response also remained stable both within and across trials, showing only a tendency to increase slightly during the initial 100-500 ms after stimulus onset. The results imply that the improved capacity to discriminate stimulus frequency that develops in response to an exposure to cutaneous flutter stimulation is not attributable to a change in RA afferent entrainment per se.
No preview · Article · Feb 2000 · Somatosensory and Motor Research