Gamma synchronization in human primary somatosensory cortex as revealed by somatosensory evoked neuromagnetic fields

Franca Tecchio, Claudio Babiloni, Filippo Zappasodi, Fabrizio Vecchio, Vittorio Pizzella, Gian Luca Romani, Paolo Maria Rossini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cortical sensory neurons synchronize their activity at multiple frequency bands after an external stimulation. In the somatosensory cortical areas, previous reports describe more discrete and somatotopically specific neural synchronization at the gamma band. Therefore, an efficient gamma synchronization of the neurons in primary somatosensory cortex (S1) may be expected to characterize the stimulus processing from the thumb, i.e. the hand's most skillful area. To test this hypothesis, neuromagnetic fields were evoked over human S1 by the electrical stimulation of the contralateral thumb or little finger. Neuronal synchronization was indexed by the spectral coherence of the evoked neuromagnetic fields overlying S1. The frequencies of interest were the beta (16-32 Hz) and gamma (36-46 Hz) bands. The global amount of the coherence was defined as the total event-related coherence (ERCoh) among all magnetic sensors overlying the S1. Results showed prevalent increment of beta ERCoh (20-32 Hz) after the little finger stimulation and of gamma ERCoh (36-44 Hz) after the thumb stimulation. These results suggest that the neural synchronization in S1, as revealed by the ERCoh, may vary in frequency as a function of the finger stimulated. In this framework, the neural synchronization at gamma band may characterize the cortical representation of thumb, functionally prevalent with respect to little finger in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 3 2003


  • Gamma band
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Somatosensory evoked field
  • Spectral coherence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Gamma synchronization in human primary somatosensory cortex as revealed by somatosensory evoked neuromagnetic fields'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this