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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Apr 2023 - 14 Apr 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Neurobiology, Neuroimaging

Acute Pain

2023 Mar 31



Transient gamma events delineate somatosensory modality in S1.


Black CJ, Saab CY, Borton DA


Gamma band activity localized to the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in humans and animals is implicated in the higher order neural processing of painful and tactile stimuli. However, it is unclear if gamma band activity differs between these distinct somatosensory modalities. Here, we coupled a novel behavioral approach with chronic extracellular electrophysiology to investigate differences in S1 gamma band activity elicited by noxious and innocuous hind paw stimulation in transgenic mice. Like prior studies, we found that trial-averaged gamma power in S1 increased following both noxious and innocuous stimuli. However, on individual trials, we noticed that evoked gamma band activity was not a continuous oscillatory signal but a series of transient spectral events. Upon further analysis we found that there was a significantly higher incidence of these gamma band events following noxious stimulation than innocuous stimulation. These findings suggest that somatosensory stimuli may be represented by specific features of gamma band activity at the single trial level, which may provide insight to mechanisms underlying acute pain.