Effect of movement on dipolar source activities of somatosensory evoked potentials

Massimiliano Valeriani, Domenico Restuccia, Vincenzo Di Lazzaro, Domenica Le Pera, Pietro Tonali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The early scalp somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) to median and tibial nerve stimulation were recorded at rest and during voluntary movement of the stimulated hand and foot, respectively. Both tibial and median nerve SEP distributions at rest could be explained by four-dipole models, in which one dipole was activated at the same latency as the subcortical far field and the three remaining dipolar sources were located in the perirolandic region contralateral to the stimulated side. Voluntary movement reduced all cortical dipoles in strength, while the subcortical one remained unchanged, suggesting that the effect of movement occurs above the cervicomedullary junction. In animals, cutaneous inputs are suppressed during movement and we therefore interpreted the depression of activity in the primary somatosensory cortex induced by movement as due to selective 'gating' of cutaneous afferents. Because the reduction in strength of the cortical dipoles was generally lower during passive than active movement, both centrifugal and centripetal mechanisms probably contribute to the phenomenon of 'gating'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1510-1519
Number of pages10
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999


  • Brain electrical source analysis (BESA)
  • Gating
  • Human brain
  • Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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