Topography and intracranial sources of somatosensory evoked potentials in the monkey. II. Cortical components

J. C. Arezzo, H. G. Vaughan, A. D. Legatt

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141 Scopus citations


Averaged somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) and associated multiple unit activity (MUA) were recorded from a series of epidural and intracortical locations following stimulation of the contralateral median nerve in the monkey. Cortical components were differentiated from the earlier subcortical activity and the intracerebral distribution and sources of each cortical potential were determined. Under barbiturate anesthesia the SEP wave form is simplified and can be wholly attributed to two sources. The earliest cortical activity consists of a biphasic P10-N20 wave which is generated in the posterior bank of the central sulcus. A second wave form, P12-N25, originates in the crown of the postcentral gyrus. No other cortical areas are active. In the alert state the morphology of the surface SEP is complex and reflects the interaction of volume conducted activity from several adjacent cortical sources. The wave form overlying the hand area of the postcentral gyrus consists of P12, P20, P40, N25 and P110. Precentral recordings exhibit P10, P13, N13, N20, P24, N45 and P110. Six anatomical sources have been identified. P10 and N20 originate in the posterior bank of the central sulcus including areas 3a and 3b and are volume conducted in an anteroposterior direction. P12 originates in area 1 as well as the anterior portion of area 2. P20 is generated in the medial portion of the postcentral gyrus including area 5. The source of P40 lies within the lateral portion of the parietal lobe including area 7b. Two components were generated in precentral cortex: P13/N13 originates principally in area 4 within the anterior bank of the central sulcus and P24 reflects activity in the anteromedial portion of the precentral gyrus including area 6. The long latency SEP components, N45 and P110, are generated widely within the somesthetic areas of postcentral cortex. The early cortical SEP components recorded in the monkey closely resemble in configuration and topography those recorded from man although the latter are longer in latency, reflecting interspecies differences in the length of conduction pathways as well as in cortical processing time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalElectroencephalography and clinical neurophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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