Passive electrical stimulation activates various human somatosensory cortical systems including the contralateral primary somatosensory area (SI), bilateral secondary somatosensory area (SII) and bilateral insula. The effect of stimulation frequency on blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) activity remains unclear. We acquired 3-T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in eight healthy volunteers during electrical median nerve stimulation at frequencies of 1, 3 and 10 Hz. During stimulation BOLD signal changes showed activation in the contralateral SI, bilateral SII and bilateral insula. Results of fMRI analysis showed that these areas were progressively active with the increase of rate of stimulation. As a major finding, the contralateral SI showed an increase of peak of BOLD activation from 1 to 3 Hz but reached a plateau during 10-Hz stimulation. Our finding is of interest for basic research and for clinical applications in subjects unable to perform cognitive tasks in the fMRI scanner.
- Stimulation frequency
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Biomedical Engineering