Modulation of EEG spectral edge frequency during patterned pneumatic oral stimulation in preterm infants

Dongli Song, Priya Jegatheesan, Sunshine Weiss, Balaji Govindaswami, Jingyan Wang, Jaehoon Lee, Austin Oder, Steven M. Barlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background:Stimulation of the nervous system plays a central role in brain development and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Thalamocortical and corticocortical development is diminished in premature infants and correlated to electroencephalography (EEG) progression. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of orocutaneous stimulation on the modulation of spectral edge frequency f c = 90% (SEF-90), which is derived from EEG recordings in preterm infants.Methods:A total of 22 preterm infants were randomized to experimental and control conditions. Pulsed orocutaneous stimulation was presented during gavage feedings begun at ∼32 wk postmenstrual age. The SEF-90 was derived from two-channel EEG recordings.Results:Compared with the control condition, the pulsed orocutaneous stimulation produced a significant reorganization of SEF-90 in the left (P = 0.005) and right (P < 0.0001) hemispheres. Notably, the left and right hemispheres showed a reversal in the polarity of frequency shift, demonstrating hemispheric asymmetry in the frequency domain. Pulsed orocutaneous stimulation also produced a significant pattern of short-term cortical adaptation and a long-term neural adaptation manifested as a 0.5 Hz elevation in SEF-90 after repeated stimulation sessions.Conclusion:This is the first study to demonstrate the modulating effects of a servo-controlled oral somatosensory input on the spectral features of EEG activity in preterm infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


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