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Cereb Cortex. 2004 Aug;14(8):851-7. Epub 2004 Mar 28.

Serial processing in the human somatosensory system.

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Department of Integrative Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan.


Although numerous anatomical and electrophysiological findings in animal studies have supported a hierarchical scheme of somatosensory processing, precise activation timings of each cortical area are not known. Therefore we examined the temporal relationship of activities among multiple cortical areas using magnetoencephalography in humans. We found activations in Brodmann's areas 3b, 4, 1, 5 and the secondary somatosensory cortex region in the right hemisphere following transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the dorsum of the left hand. The mean onset latencies of each cortical activity were 14.4, 14.5, 18.0, 22.4 and 21.7 ms, respectively. The differences of onset latencies among these activations indicated the serial mode of processing both through the postcentral gyrus and through the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices.

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