Oscillatory characteristics of nociceptive responses in the SII cortex

Fu Jung Hsiao, Wei Ta Chen, Kwong Kum Liao, Zin An Wu, Low Tone Ho, Yung Yang Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: This study is aimed to explore the frequency characteristics of pain-evoked neuromagnetic responses in the secondary somatosensory (SII) cortices. Methods: Thulium-laser nociceptive stimuli to the left hand dorsum of 10 right-handed healthy adults. The pain stimuli were rated as mild, moderate, and severe levels according to subjects' reports on a 10-point visual analog scale. We analyzed their cortical responses with wavelet-based frequency analyses and equivalent current dipole (ECD) modeling. Results: For each pain level, we found an increase of theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) power in bilateral SII areas at 180-210 ms after stimulus onset. The power was larger for the moderate than for the mild pain level (p < 0.05), but there was no statistical power difference of these oscillations between moderate and severe pain stimulus conditions (p = 0.7). Within the SII area, we did not observe particular difference in theta and alpha ECD locations between varying pain level conditions. Conclusions: The 4-13 Hz activities, peaking from 180 to 210 ms, are oscillatory correlates of SII activation in response to nociceptive stimulation, but their power may code the magnitude of pain stimuli only up to moderate level, as rated subjectively. This measure could be potentially used to evaluate SII activation in further pain studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-637
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2008


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