• somatosensory evoked fields;
  • compression;
  • decompression;
  • glabrous skin;
  • somatotopy


Somatosensory evoked fields in response to compression (termed as Co) and decompression (termed as De) of glabrous skin (D1, thumb; D2, index finger; D5, little finger) were recorded. Although estimated equivalent current dipoles (ECDs) following stimulation of D1 and D5 were larger, but not significantly larger, in decompression than in compression, those of D2 were significantly larger (P = 0.035). The ECDs were located in the postcentral gyrus in the order of D5De, D2De, and D1De medially, posteriorly, and superiorly in decompression but not in compression (z-value, F = 2.692, P = 0.031). The average distance of ECDs between D1 and D5 was longer in decompression (12.8 ± 1.6 mm) than in compression (9.1 ± 1.6 mm). Our data suggest that the cortical response for the commonly used digit D2 is functionally different from those for other digits (D1 and D5) that the somatotopic variability is greater in compression. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.