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Receptor encoding of moving tactile stimuli in humans. II. The mean response of individual low-threshold mechanoreceptors to motion across the receptive field.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Integrative Medical Biology, Physiology.
1995 (English)In: Journal of Neuroscience, ISSN 0270-6474, E-ISSN 1529-2401, Vol. 15, no 1, 848-864 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The mean firing rate evoked in 70 cutaneous, low-threshold mechanoreceptors in the human median, radial, and inferior alveolar nerves by stimulus motion across the skin was quantitatively studied. Moving stimuli, controlled for velocity, direction, and length of skin traversed, were provided by a servo-controlled motor that carried a brush across the receptive field. Each unit was studied with stimuli delivered at multiple velocities from 0.5 to 32 cm/sec in at least two opposing directions. A power function provided an excellent description of the MFR-versus-velocity relationship. The exponent n was interpreted to reflect the receptor's sensitivity to changes in stimulus velocity, and the multiplicative constant c, the predicted response to stimuli moving at 1.0 cm/sec. The fast adapting mechanoreceptors exhibited higher sensitivity to stimulus velocity than the slowly adapting mechanoreceptors. The mean velocity at which the fast adapting units were predicted to first respond to movement was also higher. Estimates of n, c, or both differed significantly for stimuli delivered in opposing directions for more than 70% of the mechanoreceptors. No direction of motion consistently led to power function parameters with higher values so as to suggest a "preferred" regional direction of motion for the entire population. Neither the directional difference in n nor c could be attributed to directional differences in the forces applied across the receptive fields. These findings suggest that information about velocity and direction is represented in the mean firing rate responses evoked in the population of mechanoreceptors activated by a moving tactile stimulus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1995. Vol. 15, no 1, 848-864 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32718PubMedID: 7823185OAI: diva2:305303
Available from: 2010-03-23 Created: 2010-03-23 Last updated: 2010-03-24

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