Temporal discrimination of somesthetic stimuli is impaired in dystonic patients

Michele Tinazzi, Emma Frasson, Laura Bertolasi, Antonio Fiaschi, Salvatore Aglioti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical and experimental evidence documents abnormal somatosensory functions in dystonia. Despite the fact that somatosensory processing is inherently temporal, mainly spatial aspects of somatosensory functions have so far been assessed in dystonic patients. Seven patients with idiopathic dystonia and nine healthy controls were given pairs of non-noxious electrical stimuli separated by different time intervals and asked to report if they perceived single or double stimuli. Somesthetic temporal discrimination thresholds (STDT) were obtained by computing the shortest time interval at which stimuli, applied to the left or the right hand, were perceived as separate. STDT were significantly higher in dystonic than in controls thus showing for the first time that temporal and not only spatial somatosensory processing is altered in dystonia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1547-1550
Number of pages4
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - May 14 1999


  • Asynchronous stimulation
  • Dystonia
  • Paired stimulation
  • Sensory temporal discrimination threshold
  • Somatosensory system
  • Temporal processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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