Source dipole analysis of the early components of the RREP Academic Article uri icon


  • Occlusion of the inspiratory airway produces a series of early RREP components. The predominant early positive and negative peaks are seen over the parietal and frontal scalp respectively and have been hypothesised to represent parallel activation of somatosensory and motor cortices in a manner similar to electrically produced SEP components. An alternative hypothesis is that both components are produced by somatosensory cortex, with the frontally maximal negativity reflecting the activity of a tangential dipole source. Respiratory-related evoked potentials (RREPs) elicited by brief occlusion of the inspiratory airway, were recorded using 29 scalp electrodes from six subjects. Early latency components were analysed using the Electromagnetic Source Estimation (EMSE) program for modelling equivalent electrical dipoles, in order to suggest likely generator sources. Two hypotheses were tested: first, that radial dipoles generated by both pre- (motor cortex) and post-centrally (somatosensory cortex) produce the early components; and second, that generator sources are limited to the somatosensory cortex, with activity recorded as frontally maximal reflecting volume conduction from tangential dipoles. Results were highly consistent between subjects and suggested that Nf-P1 was best accounted for by two post-central and two pre-central radial dipoles supporting the first hypothesis. Locations of generator sources are discussed in relation to anatomical correlates.

publication date

  • 1998