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‘Gating’ of somatosensory evoked potentials begins before the onset of voluntary movement in man


The inflow of somatosensory information to the cerebral cortex is modified before and during active movement in animals. This phenomenon has been termed 'gating' and occurs at several levels of the sensory pathway. We studied somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) to stimulation of the median nerve at the wrist during voluntary movement of the ipsilateral thumb in man. Results indicate that SEPs are attenuated shortly after a command to move (approximately 100 ms before the onset of the electromyogram (EMG)), become maximally attenuated with maximum EMG and return to normal size when movement is finished.

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