Scalp topography and dipolar source modelling of potentials evoked by CO2 laser stimulation of the hand

Massimiliano Valeriani, Loic Rambaud, François Mauguière

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CO2 laser evoked potentials to hand stimulation recorded using a scalp 19-channel montage in 11 normal subjects consistently showed early N1/P1 dipolar field distribution peaking at a mean latency of 159 ms. The N1 negativity was distributed in the temporoparietal region contralateral to stimulation and the P1 positivity in the frontal region. The N1/P1 response was followed by 3 distinct components: (1) N2a reaching its maximal amplitude at the vertex and ipsilaterally to the stimulated hand, (2) N2b mostly distributed in the frontal region, and (3) P2 with a mid-central topography. Brain electrical source analysis showed that this sequence was explained, with a residual variance below 5%, by a model including two dipoles in the upper bank of the Sylvian fissure of each hemisphere, a frontal dipole close to the midline, and two anterior medial temporal dipoles, thus suggesting a sequential activation of the two second somatosensory areas, anterior cingulate gyrus and the amygdalar nuclei or the hippocampal formations, respectively. This model fitted well with the scalp field topography of grand average responses to stimulation of left and right hand obtained across all subjects as well as when applied to individual data. Our findings suggest that the second somatosensory area contralateral to the stimulation is the first involved in the building of pain-related responses, followed by ipsilateral second somatosensory area and limbic areas receiving noxious inputs from the periphery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-353
Number of pages11
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology - Evoked Potentials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1996


  • Amygdala
  • Anterior cingulate gyrus
  • Brain electrical source analysis
  • Laser evoked potentials
  • Pain
  • Second somatosensory area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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