Pathological pain such as phantom limb pain is caused by sensorimotor incongruence. Several studies with healthy participants have clearly indicated that dysesthesia, which is similar to pathological pain, is caused by incongruence between proprioception and/or motor intention and visual feedback. It is not clear to what extent dysesthesia may be caused by incongruence between motor intention and visual feedback or by incongruence between proprioception and visual feedback. The aim of this study was to clarify the neurophysiology of these factors by analyzing electroencephalograms (EEGs).
In total, 18 healthy participants were recruited for this study. Participants were asked to perform repetitive flexion/extension exercises with their elbows in a congruent/incongruent position while viewing the activity in a mirror. EEGs were performed to determine cortical activation during sensorimotor congruence and incongruence.
In the high-frequency alpha band (10–12 Hz), numeric rating scale scores of a feeling of peculiarity were significantly correlated with event-related desynchronization/synchronization under the incongruence and proprioception conditions associated with motor intention and visual feedback (right inferior parietal region; r=−0.63, P<0.01) and between proprioception and visual feedback (right temporoparietal region; r=−0.49 and r=−0.50, P<0.05). In these brain regions, there was a region in which incongruence between proprioception and visual feedback and between motor intention and visual feedback caused an increase in activity.