Cortical tuning: a function of anticipated stimulus intensity


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Abstract

We investigated the activation of the brain during anticipation of tactile stimuli by continuous cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) monitoring with bilateral transcranial Doppler sonography. A forced choice paradigm was performed where a first group of subjects (n = 16) was expecting suprathreshold and a second group (n = 19) was anticipating threshold tactile stimuli to the index finger after a cueing tone. During the anticipation of suprathreshold stimuli the CBFV always exhibited a significantly stronger increase in the right hemisphere than in the left, even when stimuli were anticipated at the right index finger. Conversely when stimuli at perception threshold were expected, the respective contralateral hemisphere showed a significantly stronger perfusion increase. These data show that preparatory activation of the brain during stimulus anticipation is dependant on the expected stimulus intensity.

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