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Tactile Motion and Pattern Processing Assessed with High-Field fMRI
Citation key Wacker2011a0
Author Wacker, E., Spitzer, B., Lützkendorf, R., Bernarding, J., Blankenburg, F.
Year 2011
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0024860
Journal PLoS One
Volume e24860
Month September
Abstract Processing of motion and pattern has been extensively studied in the visual domain, but much less in the somatosensory system. Here, we used ultra-high-field functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 7 Tesla to investigate the neuronal correlates of tactile motion and pattern processing in humans under tightly controlled stimulation conditions. Different types of dynamic stimuli created the sensation of moving or stationary bar patterns during passive touch. Activity in somatosensory cortex was increased during both motion and pattern processing and modulated by motion directionality in primary and secondary somatosensory cortices (SI and SII) as well as by pattern orientation in the anterior intraparietal sulcus. Furthermore, tactile motion and pattern processing induced activity in the middle temporal cortex (hMT+/V5) and in the inferior parietal cortex (IPC), involving parts of the supramarginal und angular gyri. These responses covaried with subjects' individual perceptual performance, suggesting that hMT+/V5 and IPC contribute to conscious perception of specific tactile stimulus features. In addition, an analysis of effective connectivity using psychophysiological interactions (PPI) revealed increased functional coupling between SI and hMT+/V5 during motion processing, as well as between SI and IPC during pattern processing. This connectivity pattern provides evidence for the direct engagement of these specialized cortical areas in tactile processing during somesthesis.
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