Receptor encoding of moving tactile stimuli in humans. I. Temporal pattern of discharge of individual low-threshold mechanoreceptors.
1995 (English)In: Journal of Neuroscience, ISSN 0270-6474, E-ISSN 1529-2401, Vol. 15, no 1 Pt 2, 830-847 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The response of 70 cutaneous, low-threshold mechanoreceptors in the human median, radial and inferior alveolar nerves to well controlled brush stimuli moving across the receptive field was quantitatively studied. Microneurography was used to obtain the response of each to multiple velocities from 0.5 to 32 cm/sec in at least two opposing directions. A high degree of response consistency was observed from the slowly adapting receptors to replication of the same stimulus and to a lesser, but significant degree from the fast adapting receptors. The evoked discharge reflected up to three partially overlapping phases of the moving stimulus: skin compression, indentation, and stretch. Although the overall discharge rate increased with both stimulus velocity and force, the spatial discharge pattern was preserved to a high degrees. In contrast, the discharge patterns differed for opposing and orthogonal directions. Reducing the area of skin surrounding the receptive field that was contacted by the moving stimuli had little effect on the evoked response. Individual mechanoreceptors display highly reliable differences to brush stimuli moving at different velocities. to brush stimuli moving at different velocities. Moreover, different directions of movement evoke differences in the discharge that are consistently observed upon replication of the same stimuli. Despite the richness and consistency in the spatial discharge pattern displayed by individual receptors, it is argued that the details of the patterns are not likely used by the CNS to infer information about direction and velocity of movement across the skin. Rather, the intensity of discharge is proposed as a plausible information-bearing attribute of the stimulus-evoked response.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1995. Vol. 15, no 1 Pt 2, 830-847 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32716PubMedID: 7823184OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-32716DiVA: diva2:305305