Send to

Choose Destination
J Comp Neurol. 1982 Mar 10;205(4):313-26.

Reorganization of raccoon somatosensory cortex following removal of the fifth digit.


The organization of part of the primary somatosensory cortex was examined in anesthetized raccoons at 2, 8, or 16 weeks after the normal peripheral input to this region of cortex had been removed by amputation of the fifth digit. Electrophysiological recordings were made in and around the cortical area representing the fifth digit. Eight intact animals were used to verify that this specific area could be accurately localized on the basis of the sulci and to determine the normal response characteristics of this area. The results from nine animals with the fifth digit removed provided evidence for a gradual reorganization of the cortical area which had been functionally denervated. At 2 weeks postamputation the field was almost totally unresponsive to sensory input. At 8 weeks many sites were responsive to high intensity stimulation of rather extensive regions of the hand. At 16 weeks the cells fired more readily to peripheral stimulation than at 8 weeks and tended to have smaller, more restricted receptive fields. The location of receptive fields in this latter group suggested that the fifth digit area was taken over primarily by input from the fourth digit. The time course of this reorganization is suggestive of extensive anatomical changes either within the cortex itself or at subcortical levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center