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  • Electrocorticographic Changes in Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Band Power Following Tactile Sensation in Humans

    Final Number:

    Daniel R. Kramer MD; Michael F. Barbaro BA; Angad S. Gogia BS; Zack Blumenfeld; Morgan Lee; Kelsi Chesney BS; Dom Grisafe; Charles Y. Liu MD, PhD; Spencer Kellis PhD; Brian Lee MD PhD

    Study Design:
    Laboratory Investigation

    Subject Category:
    Emerging Technologies

    Meeting: 2018 ASSFN Biennial Meeting

    Introduction: We sought to understand the neurophysiological response properties of neurons in the hand area of primary somatosensory cortex (S1) via ECoG during mechanical touch of the subject’s hand.

    Methods: Two patients with epilepsy were implanted with subdural ECoG grids over S1 in the hand area. These patients had either a “mini”-ECoG grid consisting of 64, 2-mm contacts, spaced 3-mm apart (21 F, left sided implant) or a “standard”-ECoG grid consisting of 20, 5-mm contacts, spaced 10-mm apart (25 M, right sided implant). A region on the hand that correlated to the contralateral cortex covered by the grid was subject to 15 trials each of three types of mechanical touch: soft touch (cotton gauze lightly brushed repetitively), light touch with a tongue depressor (no indentation of the skin), and deep touch with a tongue depressor (indentation of the skin). Local field potential from these trials was then analyzed off-line. Power was calculated and normalized, and then evaluated for significance using a permutation test (N=10,000).

    Results: All three types of touch showed significant decreases in power in the alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (12-40 Hz) bands immediately following the onset of touch and returning to baseline around 400ms after onset in the electrode pair associated with the dermatomal region. The spread of gamma band activity (40-170 Hz) showed a significant increase in power centered around 300ms after touch onset and extinguishing around 600ms. All changes happen earlier in deep touch than light or soft touch. The decrease in alpha and beta power was found in the electrodes surrounding the primary two electrodes extended throughout the grid.

    Conclusions: Decreases in alpha and beta band power were associated with touch onset as well as an increase in gamma power centered over the area of S1 associated with the area of touch; similar to prior work.

    Patient Care: This study is preliminary work in efforts to create artificial sensation through somatosensory cortical stimulation for individuals with loss of sensation from paralysis, stroke, loss of limb, or other disease processes.

    Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of this session, participants should be able 1) Describe the importance of changes in alpha, beta, and gamma power following mechanical touch. 2) Discuss, in small groups, the implications of changes in frequency bands from mechanical touch in terms of encoding percepts. 3) Identify an effective strategy for creating artificial sensation in a somatosensory brain computer interface system.

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