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Article

Somatosensory Integration and Masking of Complex Tactile Information: Peripheral and Cortical Contributions

1
Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada
2
Research Department, New York Chiropractic College, Seneca Falls, NY 13148, USA
3
Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
4
Faculty of Health Sciences, Ontario Tech University, Oshawa, ON L1G 0C5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(12), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10120954
Received: 29 October 2020 / Revised: 21 November 2020 / Accepted: 4 December 2020 / Published: 9 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Plasticity and Motor Control—Series II)
Nerve paresthesia is a sensory impairment experienced in clinical conditions such as diabetes. Paresthesia may “mask” or “compete” with meaningful tactile information in the patient’s sensory environment. The two objectives of the present study were: (1) to determine if radiating paresthesia produces a peripheral mask, a central mask, or a combination; (2) to determine if a response competition experimental design reveals changes in somatosensory integration similar to a masking design. Experiment 1 assessed the degree of masking caused by induced radiating ulnar nerve paresthesia (a concurrent non-target stimulus) on a vibrotactile Morse code letter acquisition task using both behavioral and neurophysiological measures. Experiment 2 used a response competition design by moving the radiating paresthesia to the median nerve. This move shifted the concurrent non-target stimulus to a location spatially removed from the target stimuli. The task, behavioral and neurophysiological measures remained consistent. The induced paresthesia impacted letter acquisition differentially depending on the relative location of meaningful and non-meaningful stimulation. Paresthesia acted as a peripheral mask when presented to overlapping anatomical stimulation areas, and a central mask when presented at separate anatomical areas. These findings are discussed as they relate to masking, subcortical, and centripetal gating. View Full-Text
Keywords: masking; response competition; Morse code; paresthesia; tactile learning; vibrotactile stimulus; somatosensory evoked potentials masking; response competition; Morse code; paresthesia; tactile learning; vibrotactile stimulus; somatosensory evoked potentials
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MDPI and ACS Style

Passmore, S.R.; Mortaza, N.; Glazebrook, C.M.; Murphy, B.; Lee, T.D. Somatosensory Integration and Masking of Complex Tactile Information: Peripheral and Cortical Contributions. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 954. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10120954

AMA Style

Passmore SR, Mortaza N, Glazebrook CM, Murphy B, Lee TD. Somatosensory Integration and Masking of Complex Tactile Information: Peripheral and Cortical Contributions. Brain Sciences. 2020; 10(12):954. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10120954

Chicago/Turabian Style

Passmore, Steven R., Niyousha Mortaza, Cheryl M. Glazebrook, Bernadette Murphy, and Timothy D. Lee 2020. "Somatosensory Integration and Masking of Complex Tactile Information: Peripheral and Cortical Contributions" Brain Sciences 10, no. 12: 954. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10120954

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