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Daily Archives: October 23, 2015

Chiropractic Use of Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SEPs) in Research

By |October 23, 2015|Chiropractic Research, Education|

The Origin, and Application of Somatosensory
Evoked Potentials as a Neurophysiological Technique to Investigate Neuroplasticity

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2014 (Jun);   58 (2): 170–183 ~ FULL TEXT

Steven R. Passmore, DC, PhD, Bernadette Murphy, DC, PhD,
and Timothy D. Lee, PhD

McMaster University
University of Ontario,
Institute of Technology


Somatosensory evoked potentionals (SEPs) can be used to elucidate differences in cortical activity associated with a spinal manipulation (SM) intervention. The purpose of this narrative review is to overview the origin and application of SEPs, a neurophysiological technique to investigate neuroplasticity. Summaries of:

1) parameters for SEP generation and waveform recording;
2) SEP peak nomenclature, interpretation and generators;
3) peaks pertaining to tactile information processing (relevant to both chiropractic and other manual therapies);
4) utilization and application of SEPs;
5) SEPs concurrent with an experimental task and at baseline/control/pretest;
6) SEPs pain studies; and
7) SEPs design (pre/post) and neural reorganization/neuroplasticity; and
8) SEPs and future chiropractic research are all reviewed.

Understanding what SEPs are, and their application allows chiropractors, educators, and other manual therapists interested in SM to understand the context, and importance of research findings from SM studies that involve SEPs.

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