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Journal Article

Individual left-hand and right-hand intra-digit representations in human primary somatosensory cortex.

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Schweisfurth,  M. A.
Biomedical NMR Research GmbH, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Frahm,  J.
Biomedical NMR Research GmbH, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Schweizer,  R.
Biomedical NMR Research GmbH, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schweisfurth, M. A., Frahm, J., & Schweizer, R. (2015). Individual left-hand and right-hand intra-digit representations in human primary somatosensory cortex. European Journal of Neuroscience, 42(5), 2155-2163. doi:10.1111/ejn.12978.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-2B54-B
Abstract
Individual intra-digit somatotopy of all phalanges of the middle and little finger of the right and left hand was studied by functional magnetic resonance imaging in 12 healthy subjects. Phalanges were tactilely stimulated and activation in BA 3b of the human primary somatosensory cortex could be observed for each individual phalanx. Activation peaks were further analysed using the Direction/Order (DiOr) method, which identifies somatotopy, if a significantly high number of subjects exhibit ordered distal-to-proximal phalanx representions along a similar direction. Based on DiOr, ordered and similar-direction-aligned intra-digit maps across subjects were found at the left hand for the little and middle finger and at the right hand for the little finger. In these digits the proximal phalanges were represented more medially along the course of the central sulcus than the distal phalanges. This is contrasted by the intra-digit maps for the middle finger of the right hand, which showed larger inter-subject variations of phalanx alignments without a similar within-digit representation across subjects. As all subjects were right-handed and as the middle finger of the dominant hand probably plays a more individual role in everyday tactile performance than the little finger of the right hand and all left-hand digits, the observed variation might reflect a functional somatotopy based on individual use of that particular digit at the dominant hand.