Sensory transmission is known to be impaired during movement of the stimulated body part. The goal of this study was to determine whether sensory gating persists for a measurable time after completion of a voluntary movement. Tactile stimuli were applied to the right index fingertip at intervals ranging from 63 to 1,000 msec after the completion of rapid thumb movement. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs), recorded over the left cerebral hemisphere, were found to be reduced in size for at least 500 msec after the cessation of movement. The prolonged attenuation of SEPs after movement appears to depend on a central process that persists for a measurable time after the movement has ended.
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