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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 8;9(1):e84367. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084367. eCollection 2014.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging connectivity analyses reveal efference-copy to primary somatosensory area, BA2.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands ; Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Neuroscience, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
3
Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Some theories of motor control suggest efference-copies of motor commands reach somatosensory cortices. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to test these models. We varied the amount of efference-copy signal by making participants squeeze a soft material either actively or passively. We found electromyographical recordings, an efference-copy proxy, to predict activity in primary somatosensory regions, in particular Brodmann Area (BA) 2. Partial correlation analyses confirmed that brain activity in cortical structures associated with motor control (premotor and supplementary motor cortices, the parietal area PF and the cerebellum) predicts brain activity in BA2 without being entirely mediated by activity in early somatosensory (BA3b) cortex. Our study therefore provides valuable empirical evidence for efference-copy models of motor control, and shows that signals in BA2 can indeed reflect an input from motor cortices and suggests that we should interpret activations in BA2 as evidence for somatosensory-motor rather than somatosensory coding alone.

PMID:
24416222
PMCID:
PMC3885571
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0084367
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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