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Elife. 2016 Dec 30;5. pii: e17280. doi: 10.7554/eLife.17280.

Perceptually relevant remapping of human somatotopy in 24 hours.

Author information

1
Oxford Centre for fMRI of the Brain, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
2
University College, Oxford, United Kingdom.
3
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, United Kingdom.
4
Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Experience-dependent reorganisation of functional maps in the cerebral cortex is well described in the primary sensory cortices. However, there is relatively little evidence for such cortical reorganisation over the short-term. Using human somatosensory cortex as a model, we investigated the effects of a 24 hr gluing manipulation in which the right index and right middle fingers (digits 2 and 3) were adjoined with surgical glue. Somatotopic representations, assessed with two 7 tesla fMRI protocols, revealed rapid off-target reorganisation in the non-manipulated fingers following gluing, with the representation of the ring finger (digit 4) shifted towards the little finger (digit 5) and away from the middle finger (digit 3). These shifts were also evident in two behavioural tasks conducted in an independent cohort, showing reduced sensitivity for discriminating the temporal order of stimuli to the ring and little fingers, and increased substitution errors across this pair on a speeded reaction time task.

KEYWORDS:

human; neuroscience; plasticity; somatosensory; topography

PMID:
28035900
PMCID:
PMC5241114
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.17280
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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