Abstract

Interhemispheric differences of the N100 latency in visual evoked potentials have been used to estimate interhemispheric transfer time (e.g., Saron & Davidson, 1989). Recent work has also suggested that the P300 component could reflect the efficacy of interhemispheric transmission (Polich & Hoffman, 1998). The purpose of the present study was to study the differential role of the corpus callosum (CC) and anterior commissure (AC) in the interhemispheric propagation of these two electrophysiological components. Thus, the amplitude and latency distribution of the N100 and P300 components were analyzed using high-density electrical mapping in a subject with agenesis of CC but preservation of AC, a subject with agenesis of both CC and AC, and 10 neurologically intact control subjects. The task consisted of a modified visual oddball paradigm comprising one frequent and two rare stimuli, one presented on the same and the other on the opposite side of the frequent stimulus. Interhemispheric differences in latency were found for the N100 component in controls. However, in the acallosal subjects, this component was not identifiable in the indirectly stimulated hemisphere. In controls, no interhemispheric differences were observed in the distribution of the P300 latency and amplitude to rare and frequent stimuli. The distribution of the P300 amplitude in the acallosal subject with an AC was identical to that of the controls, whereas in the acallosal subject lacking the AC, the amplitude was greater in the hemisphere receiving the frequent stimuli, regardless of the visual hemifield in which the rare stimuli were presented. In both acallosal subjects, hemispheric differences in the P300 latency were observed, the latencies being shorter in the hemisphere directly stimulated for all categories of stimuli. These results suggest that the interhemispheric transfer of both the N100 and P300 components relies on the integrity of cortical commissures. Possible P300 generator sources are discussed.

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