Chemosensory event-related brain potentials (CSERP) after strictly monorhinal stimulation.
AIM OF THE STUDY To determine whether or not chemosensory event-related brain potentials (CSERP) elicited by nociceptive unilateral intranasal (CO2) trigeminal stimulation are lateralized and, if they are, whether this hemispheric lateralization is related to the side of the stimulated nostril. METHODS Nine healthy right-handed subjects participated to the study. CSERPs were recorded after left or right monorhinal CO2 stimulation. Latency and baseline-to-peak amplitude of each CSERP component were compared across stimulation conditions (left and right nostril), scalp locations (lower-frontal, frontal, mid-temporal, central, posterior-temporal, parietal) and hemispheres (left or right), using a three-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) for repeated measures. RESULTS Intranasal trigeminal CO2 stimulation elicited a large N400-P550 complex. This complex was preceded by an earlier N300 component. Whatever the stimulated nostril, N300, N400 and P550 amplitudes were significantly higher on the right as compared to the left hemisphere, at lower-frontal recording sites. The side of chemosensory stimulation (left or right nostril) did not significantly affect CSERP components. CONCLUSIONS This study showed that in healthy right-handed volunteers with normal olfactory ability, intranasal chemosensory trigeminal stimulation may elicit a series of event-related brain potentials, which all display a significant right-hemisphere predominance, irrespective of the stimulated nostril. The observed lateralization was maximal at lower-frontal recording sites.