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Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg Hand Surg. 2009;43(5):267-9. doi: 10.3109/02844310903123056.

Sights of touching activates the somatosensory cortex in humans.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, Hand Surgery and Burns, University Hospital of Linköping, Linköping, Sweden.


We report our observations of cross-modal interactions between sight and touch using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Experiments were devised to show that sight and touch are linked in a cross-modal arrangement, and two separate experiments were done in an MRI scanner. In the first, the subject's right hand was stimulated with a brush; in the second, a video sequence was presented to the subject inside the scanner through video goggles in visual three-dimensional stereo, showing one brushstroke every second on a hand in the same manner as the subject had just previously experienced. The result was that both the primary and the secondary somatosensory cortexes were activated in the participants when the hands were touched, and when the subjects saw only a hand being touched in the same manner. The results indicated cross-modal links between sight and touch of the hand in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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