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Sample records for human somatosensory cortex

  1. Normalization in human somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Brouwer, Gijs Joost; Arnedo, Vanessa; Offen, Shani; Heeger, David J; Grant, Arthur C

    2015-11-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure activity in human somatosensory cortex and to test for cross-digit suppression. Subjects received stimulation (vibration of varying amplitudes) to the right thumb (target) with or without concurrent stimulation of the right middle finger (mask). Subjects were less sensitive to target stimulation (psychophysical detection thresholds were higher) when target and mask digits were stimulated concurrently compared with when the target was stimulated in isolation. fMRI voxels in a region of the left postcentral gyrus each responded when either digit was stimulated. A regression model (called a forward model) was used to separate the fMRI measurements from these voxels into two hypothetical channels, each of which responded selectively to only one of the two digits. For the channel tuned to the target digit, responses in the left postcentral gyrus increased with target stimulus amplitude but were suppressed by concurrent stimulation to the mask digit, evident as a shift in the gain of the response functions. For the channel tuned to the mask digit, a constant baseline response was evoked for all target amplitudes when the mask was absent and responses decreased with increasing target amplitude when the mask was concurrently presented. A computational model based on divisive normalization provided a good fit to the measurements for both mask-absent and target + mask stimulation. We conclude that the normalization model can explain cross-digit suppression in human somatosensory cortex, supporting the hypothesis that normalization is a canonical neural computation.

  2. Frequency Specific Modulation of Human Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Feurra, Matteo; Paulus, Walter; Walsh, Vincent; Kanai, Ryota

    2011-01-01

    Oscillatory neuronal activities are commonly observed in response to sensory stimulation. However, their functional roles are still the subject of debate. One-way to probe the roles of oscillatory neural activities is to deliver alternating current to the cortex at biologically relevant frequencies and examine whether such stimulation influences perception and cognition. In this study, we tested whether transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) over the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) could elicit tactile sensations in humans in a frequency-dependent manner. We tested the effectiveness of tACS over SI at frequency bands ranging from 2 to 70 Hz. Our results show that stimulation in alpha (10–14 Hz) and high gamma (52–70 Hz) frequency range produces a tactile sensation in the contralateral hand. A weaker effect was also observed for beta (16–20 Hz) stimulation. These findings highlight the frequency dependency of effective tACS over SI with the effective frequencies corresponding to those observed in previous electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography studies of tactile perception. Our present study suggests that tACS could be used as a powerful online stimulation technique to reveal the causal roles of oscillatory brain activities. PMID:21713181

  3. Somatosensory responses in a human motor cortex

    PubMed Central

    Donoghue, John P.; Hochberg, Leigh R.

    2013-01-01

    Somatic sensory signals provide a major source of feedback to motor cortex. Changes in somatosensory systems after stroke or injury could profoundly influence brain computer interfaces (BCI) being developed to create new output signals from motor cortex activity patterns. We had the unique opportunity to study the responses of hand/arm area neurons in primary motor cortex to passive joint manipulation in a person with a long-standing brain stem stroke but intact sensory pathways. Neurons responded to passive manipulation of the contralateral shoulder, elbow, or wrist as predicted from prior studies of intact primates. Thus fundamental properties and organization were preserved despite arm/hand paralysis and damage to cortical outputs. The same neurons were engaged by attempted arm actions. These results indicate that intact sensory pathways retain the potential to influence primary motor cortex firing rates years after cortical outputs are interrupted and may contribute to online decoding of motor intentions for BCI applications. PMID:23343902

  4. Early determination of somatosensory cortex in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Juenger, Hendrik; de Haan, Bianca; Krägeloh-Mann, Ingeborg; Staudt, Martin; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2011-08-01

    The developing brain possesses a high potential for neuroplasticity. Yet, this remarkable potential of (re-)organization is not a general principle. It seems to vary among different functional systems. Here, we show that distinct brain structures involved in somatosensory processing are already prenatally determined so that a pre- or perinatally acquired (congenital) brain damage of such structures results in a persistent somatosensory deficit. Eleven patients with hemiparesis due to congenital cortico-subcortical unilateral stroke who showed versus not showed a somatosensory deficit were contrasted with magnetic resonance imaging lesion-behavior mapping. The brain areas which were typically damaged in patients with a somatosensory deficit but typically spared in patients without a somatosensory deficit were located in the primary and secondary somatosensory cortex (S1, S2) as well as the inferior parietal cortex directly neighboring S1 and S2. The results argue for an early functional determination of primary and secondary somatosensory cortex, without substantial capacities for (re-)organization. They demonstrate that cortical damage of these areas cannot be compensated by shifting the functional representation to undamaged parts of the cortex.

  5. Spatiotemporal dynamics of bimanual integration in human somatosensory cortex and their relevance to bimanual object manipulation.

    PubMed

    Jung, Patrick; Klein, Johannes C; Wibral, Michael; Hoechstetter, Karsten; Bliem, Barbara; Lu, Ming-Kuei; Wahl, Mathias; Ziemann, Ulf

    2012-04-18

    Little is known about the spatiotemporal dynamics of cortical responses that integrate slightly asynchronous somatosensory inputs from both hands. This study aimed to clarify the timing and magnitude of interhemispheric interactions during early integration of bimanual somatosensory information in different somatosensory regions and their relevance for bimanual object manipulation and exploration. Using multi-fiber probabilistic diffusion tractography and MEG source analysis of conditioning-test (C-T) median nerve somatosensory evoked fields in healthy human subjects, we sought to extract measures of structural and effective callosal connectivity between different somatosensory cortical regions and correlated them with bimanual tactile task performance. Neuromagnetic responses were found in major somatosensory regions, i.e., primary somatosensory cortex SI, secondary somatosensory cortex SII, posterior parietal cortex, and premotor cortex. Contralateral to the test stimulus, SII activity was maximally suppressed by 51% at C-T intervals of 40 and 60 ms. This interhemispheric inhibition of the contralateral SII source activity correlated directly and topographically specifically with the fractional anisotropy of callosal fibers interconnecting SII. Thus, the putative pathway that mediated inhibitory interhemispheric interactions in SII was a transcallosal route from ipsilateral to contralateral SII. Moreover, interhemispheric inhibition of SII source activity correlated directly with bimanual tactile task performance. These findings were exclusive to SII. Our data suggest that early interhemispheric somatosensory integration primarily occurs in SII, is mediated by callosal fibers that interconnect homologous SII areas, and has behavioral importance for bimanual object manipulation and exploration.

  6. Intraoperative intrinsic optical imaging of human somatosensory cortex during neurosurgical operations.

    PubMed

    Sato, Katsushige; Nariai, Tadashi; Momose-Sato, Yoko; Kamino, Kohtaro

    2017-07-01

    Intrinsic optical imaging as developed by Grinvald et al. is a powerful technique for monitoring neural function in the in vivo central nervous system. The advent of this dye-free imaging has also enabled us to monitor human brain function during neurosurgical operations. We briefly describe our own experience in functional mapping of the human somatosensory cortex, carried out using intraoperative optical imaging. The maps obtained demonstrate new additional evidence of a hierarchy for sensory response patterns in the human primary somatosensory cortex.

  7. Static magnetic field stimulation over parietal cortex enhances somatosensory detection in humans.

    PubMed

    Carrasco-López, Carmen; Soto-León, Vanesa; Céspedes, Virginia; Profice, Paolo; Strange, Bryan A; Foffani, Guglielmo; Oliviero, Antonio

    2017-03-09

    The role of neuronal oscillations in human somatosensory perception is currently unclear. To address this, here we employ non-invasive brain stimulation to artificially modulate cortical network dynamics in the context of neurophysiological and behavioral recordings. We demonstrate that transcranial static magnetic stimulation (tSMS) over the somatosensory parietal cortex increases oscillatory power specifically in the alpha range, without significantly affecting bottom-up thalamo-cortical inputs indexed by the early cortical component of somatosensory evoked potentials. Critically, we next show that parietal tSMS enhances the detection of near-threshold somatosensory stimuli. Interestingly, this behavioral improvement reflects a decrease of habituation to somatosensation. Our data therefore provide causal evidence that somatosensory perception depends on parietal alpha activity. Artificially increasing alpha power by placing a powerful magnetic field over the parietal cortex overcomes the natural decline in detection probability of a repeated near-threshold sensory stimulus.SignificanceStatement Artificially increasing alpha power by placing a powerful magnetic field over the somatosensory cortex overcomes the natural decline in detection probability of a repeated near-threshold sensory stimulus.

  8. Modulation of excitability in human primary somatosensory and motor cortex by paired associative stimulation targeting the primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Kriváneková, Lucia; Lu, Ming-Kuei; Bliem, Barbara; Ziemann, Ulf

    2011-10-01

    Input from primary somatosensory cortex (S1) to primary motor cortex (M1) is important for high-level motor performance, motor skill learning and motor recovery after brain lesion. This study tested the effects of manipulating S1 excitability with paired associative transcranial stimulation (S1-PAS) on M1 excitability. Given the important role of S1 in sensorimotor integration, we hypothesized that changes in S1 excitability would be directly paralleled by changes in M1 excitability. We applied two established protocols (S1-PAS(LTP) and S1-PAS(LTD) ) to the left S1 to induce long-term potentiation (LTP)-like or long-term depression (LTD)-like plasticity. S1 excitability was assessed by the early cortical components (N20-P25) of the median nerve somatosensory-evoked potential. M1 excitability was assessed by motor-evoked potential amplitude and short-interval intracortical inhibition. Effects of S1-PAS(LTP) were compared with those of a PAS(LTP) protocol targeting the left M1 (M1-PAS(LTP) ). S1-PAS(LTP) and S1-PAS(LTD) did not result in significant modifications of S1 or M1 excitability at the group level due to substantial interindividual variability. The individual S1-PAS-induced changes in S1 and M1 excitability showed no correlation. Furthermore, the individual changes in S1 and M1 excitability induced by S1-PAS(LTP) did not correlate with changes in M1 excitability induced by M1-PAS(LTP) . This demonstrates that the effects of S1-PAS in S1 are variable across individuals and, within a given individual, unrelated to those induced by S1-PAS or M1-PAS in M1. Potentially, this extends the opportunities of therapeutic PAS applications because M1-PAS 'non-responders' may well respond to S1-PAS.

  9. Sensory gating, inhibition control and gamma oscillations in the human somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Chia-Hsiung; Chan, Pei-Ying S.; Niddam, David M.; Tsai, Shang-Yueh; Hsu, Shih-Chieh; Liu, Chia-Yih

    2016-01-01

    Inhibiting the responses to irrelevant stimuli is an essential component of human cognitive function. Pre-attentive auditory sensory gating (SG), an attenuated neural activation to the second identical stimulus, has been found to be related to the performance of higher-hierarchical brain function. However, it remains unclear whether other cortical regions, such as somatosensory cortex, also possess similar characteristics, or if such a relationship is modality-specific. This study used magnetoencephalography to record neuromagnetic responses to paired-pulse electrical stimulation to median nerve in 22 healthy participants. Somatosensory SG ratio and cortical brain oscillations were obtained and compared with the behavioral performance of inhibition control, as evaluated by somatosensory and auditory Go-Nogo tasks. The results showed that somatosensory P35m SG ratio correlated with behavioral performance of inhibition control. Such relationship was also established in relation to the auditory Go-Nogo task. Finally, a higher frequency value of evoked gamma oscillations was found to relate to a better somatosensory SG ability. In conclusion, our data provided an empirical link between automatic cortical inhibition and behavioral performance of attentive inhibition control. This study invites further research on the relationships among gamma oscillations, neurophysiological indices, and behavioral performance in clinical populations in terms of SG or cortical inhibition. PMID:26843358

  10. Sensory gating, inhibition control and gamma oscillations in the human somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Chia-Hsiung; Chan, Pei-Ying S; Niddam, David M; Tsai, Shang-Yueh; Hsu, Shih-Chieh; Liu, Chia-Yih

    2016-02-04

    Inhibiting the responses to irrelevant stimuli is an essential component of human cognitive function. Pre-attentive auditory sensory gating (SG), an attenuated neural activation to the second identical stimulus, has been found to be related to the performance of higher-hierarchical brain function. However, it remains unclear whether other cortical regions, such as somatosensory cortex, also possess similar characteristics, or if such a relationship is modality-specific. This study used magnetoencephalography to record neuromagnetic responses to paired-pulse electrical stimulation to median nerve in 22 healthy participants. Somatosensory SG ratio and cortical brain oscillations were obtained and compared with the behavioral performance of inhibition control, as evaluated by somatosensory and auditory Go-Nogo tasks. The results showed that somatosensory P35m SG ratio correlated with behavioral performance of inhibition control. Such relationship was also established in relation to the auditory Go-Nogo task. Finally, a higher frequency value of evoked gamma oscillations was found to relate to a better somatosensory SG ability. In conclusion, our data provided an empirical link between automatic cortical inhibition and behavioral performance of attentive inhibition control. This study invites further research on the relationships among gamma oscillations, neurophysiological indices, and behavioral performance in clinical populations in terms of SG or cortical inhibition.

  11. Direct electrical stimulation of somatosensory cortex in humans using electrocorticography electrodes: a qualitative and quantitative report

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, L A; Wander, J D; Sarma, D; Su, D K; Fetz, E E; Ojemann, J G

    2013-01-01

    Objective Recently, electrocorticography-based brain-computer interfaces have been successfully used to translate cortical activity into control signals for external devices. However, the utility of such devices would be greatly enhanced by somatosensory feedback. Direct stimulation of somatosensory cortex evokes sensory perceptions, and is thus a promising option for closing the loop. Before this can be implemented in humans it is necessary to evaluate how changes in stimulus parameters are perceived and the extent to which they can be discriminated. Approach Electrical stimulation was delivered to the somatosensory cortex of human subjects implanted with electrocorticography grids. Subjects were asked to discriminate between stimuli of different frequency and amplitude as well as to report the qualitative sensations elicited by the stimulation. Main Results In this study we show that in humans implanted with electrocorticography grids, variations in the amplitude or frequency of cortical electrical stimulation produce graded variations in percepts. Subjects were able to reliably distinguish between different stimuli. Significance These results indicate that direct cortical stimulation is a feasible option for sensory feedback with brain-computer interface devices. PMID:23665776

  12. Image-guided transcranial focused ultrasound stimulates human primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Lee, Wonhye; Kim, Hyungmin; Jung, Yujin; Song, In-Uk; Chung, Yong An; Yoo, Seung-Schik

    2015-03-04

    Focused ultrasound (FUS) has recently been investigated as a new mode of non-invasive brain stimulation, which offers exquisite spatial resolution and depth control. We report on the elicitation of explicit somatosensory sensations as well as accompanying evoked electroencephalographic (EEG) potentials induced by FUS stimulation of the human somatosensory cortex. As guided by individual-specific neuroimage data, FUS was transcranially delivered to the hand somatosensory cortex among healthy volunteers. The sonication elicited transient tactile sensations on the hand area contralateral to the sonicated hemisphere, with anatomical specificity of up to a finger, while EEG recordings revealed the elicitation of sonication-specific evoked potentials. Retrospective numerical simulation of the acoustic propagation through the skull showed that a threshold of acoustic intensity may exist for successful cortical stimulation. The neurological and neuroradiological assessment before and after the sonication, along with strict safety considerations through the individual-specific estimation of effective acoustic intensity in situ and thermal effects, showed promising initial safety profile; however, equal/more rigorous precautionary procedures are advised for future studies. The transient and localized stimulation of the brain using image-guided transcranial FUS may serve as a novel tool for the non-invasive assessment and modification of region-specific brain function.

  13. Image-Guided Transcranial Focused Ultrasound Stimulates Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Wonhye; Kim, Hyungmin; Jung, Yujin; Song, In-Uk; Chung, Yong An; Yoo, Seung-Schik

    2015-03-01

    Focused ultrasound (FUS) has recently been investigated as a new mode of non-invasive brain stimulation, which offers exquisite spatial resolution and depth control. We report on the elicitation of explicit somatosensory sensations as well as accompanying evoked electroencephalographic (EEG) potentials induced by FUS stimulation of the human somatosensory cortex. As guided by individual-specific neuroimage data, FUS was transcranially delivered to the hand somatosensory cortex among healthy volunteers. The sonication elicited transient tactile sensations on the hand area contralateral to the sonicated hemisphere, with anatomical specificity of up to a finger, while EEG recordings revealed the elicitation of sonication-specific evoked potentials. Retrospective numerical simulation of the acoustic propagation through the skull showed that a threshold of acoustic intensity may exist for successful cortical stimulation. The neurological and neuroradiological assessment before and after the sonication, along with strict safety considerations through the individual-specific estimation of effective acoustic intensity in situ and thermal effects, showed promising initial safety profile; however, equal/more rigorous precautionary procedures are advised for future studies. The transient and localized stimulation of the brain using image-guided transcranial FUS may serve as a novel tool for the non-invasive assessment and modification of region-specific brain function.

  14. Image-Guided Transcranial Focused Ultrasound Stimulates Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wonhye; Kim, Hyungmin; Jung, Yujin; Song, In-Uk; Chung, Yong An; Yoo, Seung-Schik

    2015-01-01

    Focused ultrasound (FUS) has recently been investigated as a new mode of non-invasive brain stimulation, which offers exquisite spatial resolution and depth control. We report on the elicitation of explicit somatosensory sensations as well as accompanying evoked electroencephalographic (EEG) potentials induced by FUS stimulation of the human somatosensory cortex. As guided by individual-specific neuroimage data, FUS was transcranially delivered to the hand somatosensory cortex among healthy volunteers. The sonication elicited transient tactile sensations on the hand area contralateral to the sonicated hemisphere, with anatomical specificity of up to a finger, while EEG recordings revealed the elicitation of sonication-specific evoked potentials. Retrospective numerical simulation of the acoustic propagation through the skull showed that a threshold of acoustic intensity may exist for successful cortical stimulation. The neurological and neuroradiological assessment before and after the sonication, along with strict safety considerations through the individual-specific estimation of effective acoustic intensity in situ and thermal effects, showed promising initial safety profile; however, equal/more rigorous precautionary procedures are advised for future studies. The transient and localized stimulation of the brain using image-guided transcranial FUS may serve as a novel tool for the non-invasive assessment and modification of region-specific brain function. PMID:25735418

  15. Distinct α- and β-band rhythms over rat somatosensory cortex with similar properties as in humans.

    PubMed

    Fransen, Anne M M; Dimitriadis, George; van Ede, Freek; Maris, Eric

    2016-06-01

    We demonstrate distinct α- (7-14 Hz) and β-band (15-30 Hz) rhythms in rat somatosensory cortex in vivo using epidural electrocorticography recordings. Moreover, we show in rats that a genuine β-rhythm coexists alongside β-activity that reflects the second harmonic of the arch-shaped somatosensory α-rhythm. This demonstration of a genuine somatosensory β-rhythm depends on a novel quantification of neuronal oscillations that is based on their rhythmic nature: lagged coherence. Using lagged coherence, we provide two lines of evidence that this somatosensory β-rhythm is distinct from the second harmonic of the arch-shaped α-rhythm. The first is based on the rhythms' spatial properties: the α- and β-rhythms are demonstrated to have significantly different topographies. The second is based on the rhythms' temporal properties: the lagged phase-phase coupling between the α- and β-rhythms is demonstrated to be significantly less than would be expected if both reflected a single underlying nonsinusoidal rhythm. Finally, we demonstrate that 1) the lagged coherence spectrum is consistent between signals from rat and human somatosensory cortex; and 2) a tactile stimulus has the same effect on the somatosensory α- and β-rhythms in both rats and humans, namely suppressing them. Thus we not only provide evidence for the existence of genuine α- and β-rhythms in rat somatosensory cortex, but also for their homology to the primate sensorimotor α- and β-rhythms.

  16. Distinct α- and β-band rhythms over rat somatosensory cortex with similar properties as in humans

    PubMed Central

    Dimitriadis, George; van Ede, Freek

    2016-01-01

    We demonstrate distinct α- (7–14 Hz) and β-band (15–30 Hz) rhythms in rat somatosensory cortex in vivo using epidural electrocorticography recordings. Moreover, we show in rats that a genuine β-rhythm coexists alongside β-activity that reflects the second harmonic of the arch-shaped somatosensory α-rhythm. This demonstration of a genuine somatosensory β-rhythm depends on a novel quantification of neuronal oscillations that is based on their rhythmic nature: lagged coherence. Using lagged coherence, we provide two lines of evidence that this somatosensory β-rhythm is distinct from the second harmonic of the arch-shaped α-rhythm. The first is based on the rhythms' spatial properties: the α- and β-rhythms are demonstrated to have significantly different topographies. The second is based on the rhythms' temporal properties: the lagged phase-phase coupling between the α- and β-rhythms is demonstrated to be significantly less than would be expected if both reflected a single underlying nonsinusoidal rhythm. Finally, we demonstrate that 1) the lagged coherence spectrum is consistent between signals from rat and human somatosensory cortex; and 2) a tactile stimulus has the same effect on the somatosensory α- and β-rhythms in both rats and humans, namely suppressing them. Thus we not only provide evidence for the existence of genuine α- and β-rhythms in rat somatosensory cortex, but also for their homology to the primate sensorimotor α- and β-rhythms. PMID:27009160

  17. Encoding of Touch Intensity But Not Pleasantness in Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Laubacher, Claire M.; Olausson, Håkan; Wang, Binquan; Spagnolo, Primavera A.; Bushnell, M. Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Growing interest in affective touch has delineated a neural network that bypasses primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Several recent studies, however, have cast doubt on the segregation of touch discrimination and affect, suggesting that S1 also encodes affective qualities. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to examine the role of S1 in processing touch intensity and pleasantness. Twenty-six healthy human adults rated brushing on the hand during fMRI. Intensity ratings significantly predicted activation in S1, whereas pleasantness ratings predicted activation only in the anterior cingulate cortex. Nineteen subjects also received inhibitory rTMS over right hemisphere S1 and the vertex (control). After S1 rTMS, but not after vertex rTMS, sensory discrimination was reduced and subjects with reduced sensory discrimination rated touch as more intense. In contrast, rTMS did not alter ratings of touch pleasantness. Our findings support divergent neural processing of touch intensity and pleasantness, with affective touch encoded outside of S1. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Growing interest in affective touch has identified a neural network that bypasses primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Several recent studies, however, cast doubt on the separation of touch discrimination and affect. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to demonstrate the representation of touch discrimination and intensity in S1, but the representation of pleasantness in the anterior cingulate cortex, not S1. Our findings support divergent neural processing of touch intensity and pleasantness, with affective touch encoded outside of S1. Our study contributes to growing delineation of the affective touch system, a crucial step in understanding its dysregulation in numerous clinical conditions such as autism, eating disorders, depression, and chronic pain. PMID:27225773

  18. Encoding of Touch Intensity But Not Pleasantness in Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Case, Laura K; Laubacher, Claire M; Olausson, Håkan; Wang, Binquan; Spagnolo, Primavera A; Bushnell, M Catherine

    2016-05-25

    Growing interest in affective touch has delineated a neural network that bypasses primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Several recent studies, however, have cast doubt on the segregation of touch discrimination and affect, suggesting that S1 also encodes affective qualities. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to examine the role of S1 in processing touch intensity and pleasantness. Twenty-six healthy human adults rated brushing on the hand during fMRI. Intensity ratings significantly predicted activation in S1, whereas pleasantness ratings predicted activation only in the anterior cingulate cortex. Nineteen subjects also received inhibitory rTMS over right hemisphere S1 and the vertex (control). After S1 rTMS, but not after vertex rTMS, sensory discrimination was reduced and subjects with reduced sensory discrimination rated touch as more intense. In contrast, rTMS did not alter ratings of touch pleasantness. Our findings support divergent neural processing of touch intensity and pleasantness, with affective touch encoded outside of S1. Growing interest in affective touch has identified a neural network that bypasses primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Several recent studies, however, cast doubt on the separation of touch discrimination and affect. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to demonstrate the representation of touch discrimination and intensity in S1, but the representation of pleasantness in the anterior cingulate cortex, not S1. Our findings support divergent neural processing of touch intensity and pleasantness, with affective touch encoded outside of S1. Our study contributes to growing delineation of the affective touch system, a crucial step in understanding its dysregulation in numerous clinical conditions such as autism, eating disorders, depression, and chronic pain. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/365850-11$15.00/0.

  19. Population coding in somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Rasmus S; Panzeri, Stefano; Diamond, Mathew E

    2002-08-01

    Computational analyses have begun to elucidate which components of somatosensory cortical population activity may encode basic stimulus features. Recent results from rat barrel cortex suggest that the essence of this code is not synergistic spike patterns, but rather the precise timing of single neuron's first post-stimulus spikes. This may form the basis for a fast, robust population code.

  20. Metaplasticity in human primary somatosensory cortex: effects on physiology and tactile perception

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Christina B.; Lulic, Tea; Bailey, Aaron Z.; Mackenzie, Tanner N.; Mi, Yi Qun; Tommerdahl, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Theta-burst stimulation (TBS) over human primary motor cortex evokes plasticity and metaplasticity, the latter contributing to the homeostatic balance of excitation and inhibition. Our knowledge of TBS-induced effects on primary somatosensory cortex (SI) is limited, and it is unknown whether TBS induces metaplasticity within human SI. Sixteen right-handed participants (6 females, mean age 23 yr) received two TBS protocols [continuous TBS (cTBS) and intermittent TBS (iTBS)] delivered in six different combinations over SI in separate sessions. TBS protocols were delivered at 30 Hz and were as follows: a single cTBS protocol, a single iTBS protocol, cTBS followed by cTBS, iTBS followed by iTBS, cTBS followed by iTBS, and iTBS followed by cTBS. Measures included the amplitudes of the first and second somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) via median nerve stimulation, their paired-pulse ratio (PPR), and temporal order judgment (TOJ). Dependent measures were obtained before TBS and at 5, 25, 50, and 90 min following stimulation. Results indicate similar effects following cTBS and iTBS; increased amplitudes of the second SEP and PPR without amplitude changes to SEP 1, and impairments in TOJ. Metaplasticity was observed such that TOJ impairments following a single cTBS protocol were abolished following consecutive cTBS protocols. Additionally, consecutive iTBS protocols altered the time course of effects when compared with a single iTBS protocol. In conclusion, 30-Hz cTBS and iTBS protocols delivered in isolation induce effects consistent with a TBS-induced reduction in intracortical inhibition within SI. Furthermore, cTBS- and iTBS-induced metaplasticity appear to follow homeostatic and nonhomeostatic rules, respectively. PMID:26984422

  1. Metaplasticity in human primary somatosensory cortex: effects on physiology and tactile perception.

    PubMed

    Jones, Christina B; Lulic, Tea; Bailey, Aaron Z; Mackenzie, Tanner N; Mi, Yi Qun; Tommerdahl, Mark; Nelson, Aimee J

    2016-05-01

    Theta-burst stimulation (TBS) over human primary motor cortex evokes plasticity and metaplasticity, the latter contributing to the homeostatic balance of excitation and inhibition. Our knowledge of TBS-induced effects on primary somatosensory cortex (SI) is limited, and it is unknown whether TBS induces metaplasticity within human SI. Sixteen right-handed participants (6 females, mean age 23 yr) received two TBS protocols [continuous TBS (cTBS) and intermittent TBS (iTBS)] delivered in six different combinations over SI in separate sessions. TBS protocols were delivered at 30 Hz and were as follows: a single cTBS protocol, a single iTBS protocol, cTBS followed by cTBS, iTBS followed by iTBS, cTBS followed by iTBS, and iTBS followed by cTBS. Measures included the amplitudes of the first and second somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) via median nerve stimulation, their paired-pulse ratio (PPR), and temporal order judgment (TOJ). Dependent measures were obtained before TBS and at 5, 25, 50, and 90 min following stimulation. Results indicate similar effects following cTBS and iTBS; increased amplitudes of the second SEP and PPR without amplitude changes to SEP 1, and impairments in TOJ. Metaplasticity was observed such that TOJ impairments following a single cTBS protocol were abolished following consecutive cTBS protocols. Additionally, consecutive iTBS protocols altered the time course of effects when compared with a single iTBS protocol. In conclusion, 30-Hz cTBS and iTBS protocols delivered in isolation induce effects consistent with a TBS-induced reduction in intracortical inhibition within SI. Furthermore, cTBS- and iTBS-induced metaplasticity appear to follow homeostatic and nonhomeostatic rules, respectively.

  2. Neuromagnetic correlates of adaptive plasticity across the hand-face border in human primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Muret, Dollyane; Daligault, Sébastien; Dinse, Hubert R; Delpuech, Claude; Mattout, Jérémie; Reilly, Karen T; Farnè, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    It is well established that permanent or transient reduction of somatosensory inputs, following hand deafferentation or anesthesia, induces plastic changes across the hand-face border, supposedly responsible for some altered perceptual phenomena such as tactile sensations being referred from the face to the phantom hand. It is also known that transient increase of hand somatosensory inputs, via repetitive somatosensory stimulation (RSS) at a fingertip, induces local somatosensory discriminative improvement accompanied by cortical representational changes in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). We recently demonstrated that RSS at the tip of the right index finger induces similar training-independent perceptual learning across the hand-face border, improving somatosensory perception at the lips (Muret D, Dinse HR, Macchione S, Urquizar C, Farnè A, Reilly KT.Curr Biol24: R736-R737, 2014). Whether neural plastic changes across the hand-face border accompany such remote and adaptive perceptual plasticity remains unknown. Here we used magnetoencephalography to investigate the electrophysiological correlates underlying RSS-induced behavioral changes across the hand-face border. The results highlight significant changes in dipole location after RSS both for the stimulated finger and for the lips. These findings reveal plastic changes that cross the hand-face border after an increase, instead of a decrease, in somatosensory inputs.

  3. Neuromagnetic correlates of adaptive plasticity across the hand-face border in human primary somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Daligault, Sébastien; Dinse, Hubert R.; Delpuech, Claude; Mattout, Jérémie; Reilly, Karen T.; Farnè, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that permanent or transient reduction of somatosensory inputs, following hand deafferentation or anesthesia, induces plastic changes across the hand-face border, supposedly responsible for some altered perceptual phenomena such as tactile sensations being referred from the face to the phantom hand. It is also known that transient increase of hand somatosensory inputs, via repetitive somatosensory stimulation (RSS) at a fingertip, induces local somatosensory discriminative improvement accompanied by cortical representational changes in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). We recently demonstrated that RSS at the tip of the right index finger induces similar training-independent perceptual learning across the hand-face border, improving somatosensory perception at the lips (Muret D, Dinse HR, Macchione S, Urquizar C, Farnè A, Reilly KT. Curr Biol 24: R736–R737, 2014). Whether neural plastic changes across the hand-face border accompany such remote and adaptive perceptual plasticity remains unknown. Here we used magnetoencephalography to investigate the electrophysiological correlates underlying RSS-induced behavioral changes across the hand-face border. The results highlight significant changes in dipole location after RSS both for the stimulated finger and for the lips. These findings reveal plastic changes that cross the hand-face border after an increase, instead of a decrease, in somatosensory inputs. PMID:26888099

  4. Modulation of somatosensory evoked magnetic fields by intensity of interfering stimuli in human somatosensory cortex: an MEG study.

    PubMed

    Lim, Manyoel; Kim, June Sic; Chung, Chun Kee

    2012-07-02

    Somatosensory evoked responses are known to be modulated by previous interfering stimuli. Here, we first investigated the modulatory effects of interfering stimuli with different intensities on somatosensory evoked magnetic field in human primary (S1) and secondary (S2) somatosensory cortices. In the control condition of the study, test stimulus, set to strong intensity, was delivered to the left median nerve. Interfering stimuli with three different levels of intensity from weak (WI) through moderate (MI) and finally to strong (SI) were interspersed to the left median nerve between the test stimuli in each interfering condition. The cortical responses to the test stimulus were modeled with equivalent current dipoles in the contralateral S1 and bilateral S2 cortices from 17 subjects. The amplitude of the N20m deflection from the S1 was not changed by any interfering stimuli, whereas the amplitude of later P35m deflection was reduced by MI stimulus. The amplitude of P60m deflection was reduced by MI and SI stimuli. The extent of amplitude reduction of the bilateral S2 response was markedly increased as intensity of interfering stimuli increased from weak to moderate, but further reduction by the SI stimuli compared to MI stimuli was not observed. Those results indicated that somatosensory cortical activation in the S1 (P35m and P60m) and S2 were modulated by intensity of interfering stimuli. Our findings of a greater gating effect on the bilateral S2 compared to the contralateral S1 indicate that S2 may play an important role in temporal integration of different intensity levels of somatosensory inputs.

  5. Stimulus-rate sensitivity discerns area 3b of the human primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Hlushchuk, Yevhen; Simões-Franklin, Cristina; Nangini, Cathy; Hari, Riitta

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the hemodynamic response of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) to electrical median nerve stimulation doubles in strength when the stimulus rate (SR) increases from 1 to 5 Hz. Here we investigated whether such sensitivity to SR is homogenous within the functionally different subareas of the SI cortex, and whether SR sensitivity would help discern area 3b among the other SI subareas. We acquired 3-tesla functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from nine healthy adults who received pneumotactile stimuli in 25-s blocks to three right-hand fingers, either at 1, 4, or 10 Hz. The main contrast (all stimulations pooled vs. baseline), applied to the whole brain, first limited the search to the whole SI cortex. The conjunction of SR-sensitive contrasts [4 Hz - 1 Hz] > 0 and [10 Hz - 1 Hz] > 0 ([4 Hz - 1 Hz] + [10 Hz - 1 Hz] > 0), applied to the SI cluster, then revealed an anterior-ventral subcluster that reacted more strongly to both 10-Hz and 4-Hz stimuli than to the 1-Hz stimuli. No other SR-sensitive clusters were found at the group-level in the whole-brain analysis. The site of the SR-sensitive SI subcluster corresponds to the canonical position of area 3b; such differentiation was also possible at the individual level in 5 out of 9 subjects. Thus the SR sensitivity of the BOLD response appears to discern area 3b among other subareas of the human SI cortex.

  6. No modulatory effects by transcranial static magnetic field stimulation of human motor and somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Kufner, Marco; Brückner, Sabrina; Kammer, Thomas

    Recently, it was reported that the application of a static magnetic field by placing a strong permanent magnet over the scalp for 10 min led to an inhibition of motor cortex excitability for at least 6 min after removing the magnet. When placing the magnet over the somatosensory cortex, a similar inhibitory after effect could be observed as well. Our aim was to replicate the inhibitory effects of transcranial static magnetic field stimulation in the motor and somatosensory system. The modulatory effect of static magnetic field stimulation was investigated in three experiments. In two experiments motor cortex excitability was measured before and after 10 or 15 min of magnet application, respectively. The second experiment included a sham condition and was designed in a double-blinded manner. In a third experiment, paired-pulse SSEPs were measured pre and four times post positioning the magnet over the somatosensory cortex for 10 min on both hemispheres, respectively. The SSEPs of the non stimulated hemisphere served as control condition. We did not observe any systematic effect of the static magnetic field neither on motor cortex excitability nor on SSEPs. Moreover, no SSEP paired-pulse suppression was found. We provide a detailed analysis of possible confounding factors and differences to previous studies on tSMS. After all, our results could not confirm the static magnetic field effect. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The representation of oral fat texture in the human somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Grabenhorst, Fabian; Rolls, Edmund T

    2014-06-01

    How fat is sensed in the mouth and represented in the brain is important in relation to the pleasantness of food, appetite control, and the design of foods that reproduce the mouthfeel of fat yet have low energy content. We show that the human somatosensory cortex (SSC) is involved in oral fat processing via functional coupling to the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), where the pleasantness of fat texture is represented. Using functional MRI, we found that activity in SSC was more strongly correlated with the OFC during the consumption of a high fat food with a pleasant (vanilla) flavor compared to a low fat food with the same flavor. This effect was not found in control analyses using high fat foods with a less pleasant flavor or pleasant-flavored low fat foods. SSC activity correlated with subjective ratings of fattiness, but not of texture pleasantness or flavor pleasantness, indicating a representation that is not involved in hedonic processing per se. Across subjects, the magnitude of OFC-SSC coupling explained inter-individual variation in texture pleasantness evaluations. These findings extend known SSC functions to a specific role in the processing of pleasant-flavored oral fat, and identify a neural mechanism potentially important in appetite, overeating, and obesity.

  8. Detection of optogenetic stimulation in somatosensory cortex by non-human primates--towards artificial tactile sensation.

    PubMed

    May, Travis; Ozden, Ilker; Brush, Benjamin; Borton, David; Wagner, Fabien; Agha, Naubahar; Sheinberg, David L; Nurmikko, Arto V

    2014-01-01

    Neuroprosthesis research aims to enable communication between the brain and external assistive devices while restoring lost functionality such as occurs from stroke, spinal cord injury or neurodegenerative diseases. In future closed-loop sensorimotor prostheses, one approach is to use neuromodulation as direct stimulus to the brain to compensate for a lost sensory function and help the brain to integrate relevant information for commanding external devices via, e.g. movement intention. Current neuromodulation techniques rely mainly of electrical stimulation. Here we focus specifically on the question of eliciting a biomimetically relevant sense of touch by direct stimulus of the somatosensory cortex by introducing optogenetic techniques as an alternative to electrical stimulation. We demonstrate that light activated opsins can be introduced to target neurons in the somatosensory cortex of non-human primates and be optically activated to create a reliably detected sensation which the animal learns to interpret as a tactile sensation localized within the hand. The accomplishment highlighted here shows how optical stimulation of a relatively small group of mostly excitatory somatosensory neurons in the nonhuman primate brain is sufficient for eliciting a useful sensation from data acquired by simultaneous electrophysiology and from behavioral metrics. In this first report to date on optically neuromodulated behavior in the somatosensory cortex of nonhuman primates we do not yet dissect the details of the sensation the animals exerience or contrast it to those evoked by electrical stimulation, issues of considerable future interest.

  9. Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cells Restore Brain Damage Induced Changes in Rat Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Geißler, Maren; Dinse, Hubert R.; Neuhoff, Sandra; Kreikemeier, Klaus; Meier, Carola

    2011-01-01

    Intraperitoneal transplantation of human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) cells has been shown to reduce sensorimotor deficits after hypoxic ischemic brain injury in neonatal rats. However, the neuronal correlate of the functional recovery and how such a treatment enforces plastic remodelling at the level of neural processing remains elusive. Here we show by in-vivo recordings that hUCB cells have the capability of ameliorating the injury-related impairment of neural processing in primary somatosensory cortex. Intact cortical processing depends on a delicate balance of inhibitory and excitatory transmission, which is disturbed after injury. We found that the dimensions of cortical maps and receptive fields, which are significantly altered after injury, were largely restored. Additionally, the lesion induced hyperexcitability was no longer observed in hUCB treated animals as indicated by a paired-pulse behaviour resembling that observed in control animals. The beneficial effects on cortical processing were reflected in an almost complete recovery of sensorimotor behaviour. Our results demonstrate that hUCB cells reinstall the way central neurons process information by normalizing inhibitory and excitatory processes. We propose that the intermediate level of cortical processing will become relevant as a new stage to investigate efficacy and mechanisms of cell therapy in the treatment of brain injury. PMID:21673795

  10. Human umbilical cord blood cells restore brain damage induced changes in rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Geissler, Maren; Dinse, Hubert R; Neuhoff, Sandra; Kreikemeier, Klaus; Meier, Carola

    2011-01-01

    Intraperitoneal transplantation of human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) cells has been shown to reduce sensorimotor deficits after hypoxic ischemic brain injury in neonatal rats. However, the neuronal correlate of the functional recovery and how such a treatment enforces plastic remodelling at the level of neural processing remains elusive. Here we show by in-vivo recordings that hUCB cells have the capability of ameliorating the injury-related impairment of neural processing in primary somatosensory cortex. Intact cortical processing depends on a delicate balance of inhibitory and excitatory transmission, which is disturbed after injury. We found that the dimensions of cortical maps and receptive fields, which are significantly altered after injury, were largely restored. Additionally, the lesion induced hyperexcitability was no longer observed in hUCB treated animals as indicated by a paired-pulse behaviour resembling that observed in control animals. The beneficial effects on cortical processing were reflected in an almost complete recovery of sensorimotor behaviour. Our results demonstrate that hUCB cells reinstall the way central neurons process information by normalizing inhibitory and excitatory processes. We propose that the intermediate level of cortical processing will become relevant as a new stage to investigate efficacy and mechanisms of cell therapy in the treatment of brain injury.

  11. Effect of transcranial static magnetic field stimulation over the sensorimotor cortex on somatosensory evoked potentials in humans.

    PubMed

    Kirimoto, Hikari; Tamaki, Hiroyuki; Matsumoto, Takuya; Sugawara, Kazuhiro; Suzuki, Makoto; Oyama, Mineo; Onishi, Hideaki

    2014-01-01

    The motor cortex in the human brain can be modulated by the application of transcranial static magnetic field stimulation (tSMS) through the scalp. However, the effect of tSMS on the excitability of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in humans has never been examined. This study was performed to investigate the possibility of non-invasive modulation of S1 excitability by the application of tSMS in healthy humans. tSMS and sham stimulation over the sensorimotor cortex were applied to 10 subjects for periods of 10 and 15 min. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) following right median nerve stimulation were recorded before and immediately after, 5 min after, and 10 min after tSMS from sites C3' and F3 of the international 10-20 system of electrode placement. In another session, SEPs were recorded from 6 of the 10 subjects every 3 min during 15 min of tSMS. Amplitudes of the N20 component of SEPs at C3' significantly decreased immediately after 10 and 15 min of tSMS by up to 20%, returning to baseline by 10 min after intervention. tSMS applied while recording SEPs every 3 min and sham stimulation had no effect on SEP. tSMS is able to modulate cortical somatosensory processing in humans, and thus might be a useful tool for inducing plasticity in cortical somatosensory processing. Lack of change in the amplitude of SEPs with tSMS implies that use of peripheral nerve stimulation to cause SEPs antagonizes alteration of the function of membrane ion channels during exposure to static magnetic fields. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Direct electrical stimulation of the somatosensory cortex in humans using electrocorticography electrodes: a qualitative and quantitative report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, L. A.; Wander, J. D.; Sarma, D.; Su, D. K.; Fetz, E. E.; Ojemann, J. G.

    2013-06-01

    Objective. Recently, electrocorticography-based brain-computer interfaces have been successfully used to translate cortical activity into control signals for external devices. However, the utility of such devices would be greatly enhanced by somatosensory feedback. Direct stimulation of somatosensory cortex evokes sensory perceptions, and is thus a promising option for closing the loop. Before this can be implemented in humans it is necessary to evaluate how changes in stimulus parameters are perceived and the extent to which they can be discriminated. Approach. Electrical stimulation was delivered to the somatosensory cortex of human subjects implanted with electrocorticography grids. Subjects were asked to discriminate between stimuli of different frequency and amplitude as well as to report the qualitative sensations elicited by the stimulation. Main results. In this study we show that in humans implanted with electrocorticography grids, variations in the amplitude or frequency of cortical electrical stimulation produce graded variations in percepts. Subjects were able to reliably distinguish between different stimuli. Significance. These results indicate that direct cortical stimulation is a feasible option for sensory feedback with brain-computer interface devices.

  13. Intra- and inter-hemispheric effective connectivity in the human somatosensory cortex during pressure stimulation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Slow-adapting type I (SA-I) afferents deliver sensory signals to the somatosensory cortex during low-frequency (or static) mechanical stimulation. It has been reported that the somatosensory projection from SA-I afferents is effective and reliable for object grasping and manipulation. Despite a large number of neuroimaging studies on cortical activation responding to tactile stimuli mediated by SA-I afferents, how sensory information of such tactile stimuli flows over the somatosensory cortex remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated tactile information processing of pressure stimuli between the primary (SI) and secondary (SII) somatosensory cortices by measuring effective connectivity using dynamic causal modeling (DCM). We applied pressure stimuli for 3 s to the right index fingertip of healthy participants and acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data using a 3T MRI system. Results DCM analysis revealed intra-hemispheric effective connectivity between the contralateral SI (cSI) and SII (cSII) characterized by both parallel (signal inputs to both cSI and cSII) and serial (signal transmission from cSI to cSII) pathways during pressure stimulation. DCM analysis also revealed inter-hemispheric effective connectivity among cSI, cSII, and the ipsilateral SII (iSII) characterized by serial (from cSI to cSII) and SII-level (from cSII to iSII) pathways during pressure stimulation. Conclusions Our results support a hierarchical somatosensory network that underlies processing of low-frequency tactile information. The network consists of parallel inputs to both cSI and cSII (intra-hemispheric), followed by serial pathways from cSI to cSII (intra-hemispheric) and from cSII to iSII (inter-hemispheric). Importantly, our results suggest that both serial and parallel processing take place in tactile information processing of static mechanical stimuli as well as highlighting the contribution of callosal transfer to bilateral neuronal

  14. Transcranial magnetic stimulation over human secondary somatosensory cortex disrupts perception of pain intensity.

    PubMed

    Lockwood, Patricia L; Iannetti, Gian Domenico; Haggard, Patrick

    2013-09-01

    Pain is a complex sensory experience resulting from the activity of a network of brain regions. However, the functional contribution of individual regions in this network remains poorly understood. We delivered single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (S1), secondary somatosensory cortex (S2) and vertex (control site) 120 msec after selective stimulation of nociceptive afferents using neodymium:yttrium-aluminium-perovskite (Nd:YAP) laser pulses causing painful sensations. Participants were required to judge either the intensity (medium/high) or the spatial location (proximal/distal) of the stimulus in a two-alternative forced choice paradigm. When TMS pulses were delivered over S2, participants' ability to judge pain intensity was disrupted, as compared to S1 and vertex (control) stimulation. Signal-detection analysis demonstrated a loss of sensitivity to stimulation intensity, rather than a shift in perceived pain level or response bias. We did not find any effect of TMS on the ability to localise nociceptive stimuli on the skin. The novel finding that TMS over S2 can disrupt perception of pain intensity suggests a causal role for S2 in encoding of pain intensity.

  15. Lack of activation of human secondary somatosensory cortex in Unverricht-Lundborg type of progressive myoclonus epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Forss, N; Silén, T; Karjalainen, T

    2001-01-01

    Previous electroencephalographic and magnetoencephalographic studies have demonstrated giant early somatosensory cortical responses in patients with cortical myoclonus. We applied whole-scalp magnetoencephalography to study activation sequences of the somatosensory cortical network in 7 patients with Unverricht-Lundborg-type progressive myoclonus epilepsy diagnostically verified by DNA analysis. Responses to electric median nerve stimuli displayed 30-msec peaks at the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex that were four times stronger in patients than in control subjects. The amplitudes of 20-msec responses did not significantly differ between the groups. In contrast to control subjects, 5 patients displayed ipsilateral primary somatosensory cortex activity at 48 to 61 msec in response to both left- and right-sided median nerve stimuli. Furthermore, their secondary somatosensory cortex was not significantly activated. These abnormalities indicate altered responsiveness of the entire somatosensory cortical network outside the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex in patients with Unverricht-Lundborg-type progressive myoclonus epilepsy. The deficient activation of the secondary somatosensory cortex in Unverricht-Lundborg patients may reflect disturbed sensorimotor integration, probably related to impaired movement coordination.

  16. Current direction specificity of continuous θ-burst stimulation in modulating human motor cortex excitability when applied to somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Mark F; Zapallow, Christopher M; Tsang, Philemon; Lee, Kevin G H; Asmussen, Michael J; Nelson, Aimee J

    2012-11-14

    The present study examines the influence of primary somatosensory cortex (SI) on corticospinal excitability within primary motor cortex (M1) using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. Two groups of subjects participated and both received continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) over SI. One group received cTBS oriented to induce anterior-to-posterior (AP) followed by posterior-to-anterior (PA) current flow in the cortex and the other group received cTBS in the opposite direction (PA-AP). Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were measured from the first dorsal interosseous muscle of the left and right hand before and at three time points (5, 25, 45 min) following cTBS over left-hemisphere SI. CTBS over SI in the AP-PA direction increased contralateral MEPs at 5 and 45 min with a near significant increase at 25 min. In contrast, PA-AP cTBS decreased contralateral MEPs at 25 min. We conclude that cTBS over SI modulates neural output directed to the hand with effects that depend on the direction of induced current.

  17. Primary somatosensory cortex hand representation dynamically modulated by motor output.

    PubMed

    McGeoch, Paul D; Brang, David; Huang, Mingxiong; Ramachandran, V S

    2015-02-01

    The brain's primary motor and primary somatosensory cortices are generally viewed as functionally distinct entities. Here we show by means of magnetoencephalography with a phantom-limb patient, that movement of the phantom hand leads to a change in the response of the primary somatosensory cortex to tactile stimulation. This change correlates with the described conscious perception and suggests a greater degree of functional unification between the primary motor and somatosensory cortices than is currently realized. We suggest that this may reflect the evolution of this part of the human brain, which is thought to have occurred from an undifferentiated sensorimotor cortex.

  18. Attention induces reciprocal activity in the human somatosensory cortex enhancing relevant- and suppressing irrelevant inputs from fingers.

    PubMed

    Iguchi, Yoshinobu; Hoshi, Yoko; Tanosaki, Masato; Taira, Masato; Hashimoto, Isao

    2005-05-01

    We studied whether attention regulates information processing in the human primary somatosensory cortex (SI) by selective enhancement of relevant- and suppression of irrelevant information. Under successive and simultaneous electric stimuli to both the right index and middle fingers, tactile stimuli were randomly (20%) presented on one of the two fingers in separate two runs exchanging the finger. Subjects were requested to discriminate the tactile stimuli in an attention task to induce attention to one finger and to ignore the stimuli in a control task to avoid such an attention focus. Somatosensory evoked magnetic fields were measured only for the two-finger electric stimulation and an early component (M50) was analyzed. In spite of the two-finger simultaneous stimulation, attention to either the index or middle finger lowered or heightened the M50-sourse location, respectively. The attention task did not increase the M50 amplitude. Attention to a finger enhanced selectively the representation of the finger in the SI cortex. However, this SI activity did not increase the M50 amplitude, suggesting that the attention suppressed another finger region receiving the unattended inputs. Attention regulates the SI activity by selectively enhancing the task-relevant information and by filtering out other noise inputs.

  19. Regional structural differences across functionally parcellated Brodmann areas of human primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Panchuelo, Rosa-María; Besle, Julien; Mougin, Olivier; Gowland, Penny; Bowtell, Richard; Schluppeck, Denis; Francis, Susan

    2014-06-01

    Ultra-high-field (UHF) MRI is ideally suited for structural and functional imaging of the brain. High-resolution structural MRI can be used to map the anatomical boundaries between functional domains of the brain by identifying changes related to the pattern of myelination within cortical gray matter, opening up the possibility to study the relationship between functional domains and underlying structure in vivo. In a recent study, we demonstrated the correspondence between functional (based on retinotopic mapping) and structural (based on changes in T2(⁎)-weighted images linked to myelination) parcellations of the primary visual cortex (V1) in vivo at 7T (Sanchez-Panchuelo et al., 2012b). Here, we take advantage of the improved BOLD CNR and high spatial resolution achievable at 7T to study regional structural variations across the functionally defined areas within the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in individual subjects. Using a traveling wave fMRI paradigm to map the internal somatotopic representation of the index, middle, and ring fingers in S1, we were able to identify multiple map reversals at the tip and base, corresponding to the boundaries between Brodmann areas 3a, 3b, 1 and 2. Based on high resolution structural MRI data acquired in the same subjects, we inspected these functionally-parcellated Brodmann areas for differences in cortical thickness and MR contrast measures (magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and signal intensity in phase sensitive inversion recovery (PSIR) images) that are sensitive to myelination. Consistent area-related differences in cortical thickness and MTR/PSIR measurements were found across subjects. However these measures did not have sufficient sensitivity to allow definition of areal boundaries.

  20. Interaction of tactile input in the human primary and secondary somatosensory cortex--a magnetoencephalographic study.

    PubMed

    Hoechstetter, K; Rupp, A; Stancák, A; Meinck, H M; Stippich, C; Berg, P; Scherg, M

    2001-09-01

    Interaction of simultaneous tactile input at two finger sites in primary (SI) and secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) was studied by whole-head magnetoencephalography. Short pressure pulses were delivered to fingers of the right and left hand at an interstimulus interval of 1.6 s. The first phalanx of the left digit 1 and four other sites were stimulated either separately or simultaneously. We compared four sites with increasing distance: the second phalanx of left digit 1, left digit 5, and digits 1 and 5 of the right hand. The temporal evolution of source activity in the contralateral SI and bilateral SII was calculated using spatiotemporal source analysis. Interaction was assessed by comparing the source activity during simultaneous stimulation with the sum of the source activities elicited by separate stimulation. Significant suppressive interaction was observed in contralateral SI only for stimuli at the same hand, decreasing with distance. In SII, all digits of the same and the opposite hand interacted significantly with left digit 1. When stimulating bilaterally, SII source waveforms closely resembled the time course of the response to separate stimulation of the opposite hand. Thus, in bilateral simultaneous stimulation, the contralateral input arriving first in SII appeared to inhibit the later ipsilateral input. Similarly, the separate response to input at two unilateral finger sites which arrived slightly earlier in SII dominated the simultaneous response. Our results confirm previous findings of considerable overlap in the cortical hand representation in SII and illustrate hemispheric specialization to contralateral input when simultaneous stimuli occur bilaterally.

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

    PubMed

    Schweisfurth, Meike A; Frahm, Jens; Schweizer, Renate

    2015-09-01

    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.

  2. TAC-Cell inputs to human hand and lip induce short-term adaptation of the primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Venkatesan, Lalit; Barlow, Steven; Popescu, Mihai; Popescu, Anda; Auer, Edward T

    2010-08-12

    A new pneumatic tactile stimulator, called the TAC-Cell, was developed in our laboratory to non-invasively deliver patterned cutaneous stimulation to the face and hand in order to study the neuromagnetic response adaptation patterns within the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in young adult humans. Individual TAC-Cells were positioned on the glabrous surface of the right hand, and midline of the upper and lower lip vermilion. A 151-channel magnetoencephalography (MEG) scanner was used to record the cortical response to a novel tactile stimulus which consisted of a repeating 6-pulse train delivered at three different frequencies through the active membrane surface of the TAC-Cell. The evoked activity in S1 (contralateral for hand stimulation, and bilateral for lip stimulation) was characterized from the best-fit dipoles of the earliest prominent response component. The S1 responses manifested significant modulation and adaptation as a function of the frequency of the punctate pneumatic stimulus trains and stimulus site (glabrous lip versus glabrous hand).

  3. Discriminability of Single and Multichannel Intracortical Microstimulation within Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Overstreet, Cynthia K; Hellman, Randall B; Ponce Wong, Ruben D; Santos, Veronica J; Helms Tillery, Stephen I

    2016-01-01

    The addition of tactile and proprioceptive feedback to neuroprosthetic limbs is expected to significantly improve the control of these devices. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) of somatosensory cortex is a promising method of delivering this sensory feedback. To date, the main focus of somatosensory ICMS studies has been to deliver discriminable signals, corresponding to varying intensity, to a single location in cortex. However, multiple independent and simultaneous streams of sensory information will need to be encoded by ICMS to provide functionally relevant feedback for a neuroprosthetic limb (e.g., encoding contact events and pressure on multiple digits). In this study, we evaluated the ability of an awake, behaving non-human primate (Macaca mulatta) to discriminate ICMS stimuli delivered on multiple electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex. We delivered serial stimulation on single electrodes to evaluate the discriminability of sensations corresponding to ICMS of distinct cortical locations. Additionally, we delivered trains of multichannel stimulation, derived from a tactile sensor, synchronously across multiple electrodes. Our results indicate that discrimination of multiple ICMS stimuli is a challenging task, but that discriminable sensory percepts can be elicited by both single and multichannel ICMS on electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex.

  4. Discriminability of Single and Multichannel Intracortical Microstimulation within Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Overstreet, Cynthia K.; Hellman, Randall B.; Ponce Wong, Ruben D.; Santos, Veronica J.; Helms Tillery, Stephen I.

    2016-01-01

    The addition of tactile and proprioceptive feedback to neuroprosthetic limbs is expected to significantly improve the control of these devices. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) of somatosensory cortex is a promising method of delivering this sensory feedback. To date, the main focus of somatosensory ICMS studies has been to deliver discriminable signals, corresponding to varying intensity, to a single location in cortex. However, multiple independent and simultaneous streams of sensory information will need to be encoded by ICMS to provide functionally relevant feedback for a neuroprosthetic limb (e.g., encoding contact events and pressure on multiple digits). In this study, we evaluated the ability of an awake, behaving non-human primate (Macaca mulatta) to discriminate ICMS stimuli delivered on multiple electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex. We delivered serial stimulation on single electrodes to evaluate the discriminability of sensations corresponding to ICMS of distinct cortical locations. Additionally, we delivered trains of multichannel stimulation, derived from a tactile sensor, synchronously across multiple electrodes. Our results indicate that discrimination of multiple ICMS stimuli is a challenging task, but that discriminable sensory percepts can be elicited by both single and multichannel ICMS on electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex. PMID:27995126

  5. Individual fMRI maps of all phalanges and digit bases of all fingers in human primary somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Schweisfurth, Meike A.; Frahm, Jens; Schweizer, Renate

    2014-01-01

    This study determined the individual maps of all fingers in Brodmann area 3b of the human primary somatosensory cortex in a single fMRI session by tactile stimulation at 19 sites across all phalanges and digit bases of the 5 right-hand digits. To quantify basic features of the digit maps within and across subjects, we applied standard descriptive measures, but also implemented a novel quantitative analysis. This so-called Direction/Order (DiOr) method tested whether subjects exhibited an ordering of peak fMRI representations along their individual direction of alignment through the set of analyzed phalanges and whether these individual directions were similar across subjects. Across-digit analysis demonstrated that for each set of homologous phalanges, the D5-to-D1 representations were successively represented along a common direction of alignment. Hence, the well-known mediolateral D5-to-D1 somatotopy was not only confirmed for the distal phalanges (p1), but could also be shown for the medial (p2) and proximal phalanges (p3). In contrast, the peak activation for the digit bases (p4) only partly elicited that digit succession. Complementary, intra-digit analysis revealed a divergent picture of map topography for the different digits. Within D5 (and in a trend: D4), an ordered p1-to-p3 succession was found across subjects, pointing to a consistent intra-digit somatotopy for D5, with p3 generally found medial-posterior to p1. In contrast, for D1, D2, and D3, most subjects did not present with ordered p1-to-p3 maps nor were directions of alignment similarly oriented between subjects. These digits therefore exhibited highly diverse representation patterns across subjects. PMID:25228867

  6. Combined MRI-EEG techniques for correlation of anatomy and function in human somatosensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyle, James P.; Kelly, Edward F.

    1994-05-01

    Recent advances in high-resolution EEG imaging methods have made it advantageous to decrease inter-electrode distance to approximately 1 - 2 cm. To take full advantage of this increased recording density, it has become imperative to consider inter-subject anatomical variability and even intra-subject anatomical asymmetry. The present study used anatomical information from MRI to augment functional data obtained through EEG. Specifically, acrylic helmets made for each subject and normally used during EEG were utilized to orient NMR sample tubes filled with a marker medium (H2O(DOT)Cu2SO4) radially from the scalp at selected EEG recording sites during MRI. Using the software package AVS, the MRI data could then be volumetrically 3-D rendered, 3-D isosurface rendered, or arbitrarily sliced. The tubes appeared in the 3-D renderings as pointers from recording sites to underlying cortical anatomy. Our task was simplified by our focus on a limited area of the cortex. The renderings provide subject-specific anatomical templates for mapping of EEG topographic patterns and clearly reveal individual variations of cortical surface topography that are usually unaccounted for in EEG analysis.

  7. Epidural motor cortex stimulation suppresses somatosensory evoked potentials in the primary somatosensory cortex of the rat.

    PubMed

    Chiou, Ruei-Jen; Lee, Hsiao-Yun; Chang, Chen-Wei; Lin, Kuan-Hung; Kuo, Chung-Chih

    2012-06-29

    Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) is a promising clinical procedure to help alleviate chronic pain. Animal models demonstrated that MCS is effective in lessening nocifensive behaviors. The present study explored the effects of MCS on cortical somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) recorded at the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) of the rat. SEPs were evoked by electrical stimulation applied to the contralateral forepaws. Effects of different intensities, frequencies, and durations of MCS were tested. MCS at ≥2V suppressed SEPs of the ipsilateral SI. Suppression lasted 120 min at an intensity of 5 V. The optimal frequency was 50 Hz, and the duration was 30s. In contrast, MCS did not affect SEPs recorded on the contralateral SI. Cortical stimulation out of the motor cortex did not induce a decrease in the ipsilateral SEPs. We also investigated involvement of the endogenous opioid system in this inhibition of SEPs induced by MCS. The opioid antagonist, naloxone (0.5 mg/kg), was administered 30 min before MCS. Application of naloxone completely prevented the inhibitory effect of MCS on ipsilateral SEPs. These results demonstrate that MCS blocked the transmission of somatosensory information to the primary somatosensory cortex, and this interference was mediated by the endogenous opioid system. This inhibitory effect on sensory transmission induced by MCS may reflect its antinociceptive effect.

  8. Inter- and Intradigit Somatotopic Map of High-Frequency Vibration Stimulations in Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Mi-Hyun; Kim, Sung-Phil; Kim, Hyung-Sik; Chung, Soon-Cheol

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Although more about the somatotopic mapping of fingers continues to be uncovered, there is lack of mapping attempts regarding the integration of within-finger and across-finger somatotopic coordinates in Broadmann area (BA) 3. This study aimed to address the issue by finding an inter-/intradigit somatotopic map with high-frequency (250 Hz) vibrotactile stimulation. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were acquired while stimulation was applied to 3 phalanxes (distal [p1], intermediate [p2], and proximal [p3] phalanx) of 4 fingers (index, middle, ring, and little finger) for a total of 12 finger–phalanx combinations for a human. Inter-, intra-, and inter-/intradigit distances were calculated from peak activation coordinates in BA 3 for each combination. With regard to interdigit dimensions, the somatotopic coordinates proceeded in the lateral-to-medial direction for the index, middle, ring, and little fingers consecutively. This trend is comparable to that generated from low-frequency stimulation modalities (flutter stimulation). The somatotopic distances between fingers were greatest when p1 was compared across fingers. From an intradigit perspective, stimulation on p1, p2, and p3 yielded BA 3 peak coordinates aligned along the anterior-to-posterior and inferior-to-superior directions for all fingers. An inter-/intradigit map exhibited a radially propagating trend of distances calculated with respect to index p1 as a reference point; this provided an integrated view of inter- and intradigit somatotopies, which are traditionally discussed separately. We expect such an inter-/intradigit somatotopic map approach to contribute in generating a comprehensive somatotopic model of fingers. PMID:27196488

  9. Inter- and Intradigit Somatotopic Map of High-Frequency Vibration Stimulations in Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Choi, Mi-Hyun; Kim, Sung-Phil; Kim, Hyung-Sik; Chung, Soon-Cheol

    2016-05-01

    Although more about the somatotopic mapping of fingers continues to be uncovered, there is lack of mapping attempts regarding the integration of within-finger and across-finger somatotopic coordinates in Broadmann area (BA) 3. This study aimed to address the issue by finding an inter-/intradigit somatotopic map with high-frequency (250 Hz) vibrotactile stimulation. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were acquired while stimulation was applied to 3 phalanxes (distal [p1], intermediate [p2], and proximal [p3] phalanx) of 4 fingers (index, middle, ring, and little finger) for a total of 12 finger-phalanx combinations for a human. Inter-, intra-, and inter-/intradigit distances were calculated from peak activation coordinates in BA 3 for each combination. With regard to interdigit dimensions, the somatotopic coordinates proceeded in the lateral-to-medial direction for the index, middle, ring, and little fingers consecutively. This trend is comparable to that generated from low-frequency stimulation modalities (flutter stimulation). The somatotopic distances between fingers were greatest when p1 was compared across fingers. From an intradigit perspective, stimulation on p1, p2, and p3 yielded BA 3 peak coordinates aligned along the anterior-to-posterior and inferior-to-superior directions for all fingers. An inter-/intradigit map exhibited a radially propagating trend of distances calculated with respect to index p1 as a reference point; this provided an integrated view of inter- and intradigit somatotopies, which are traditionally discussed separately. We expect such an inter-/intradigit somatotopic map approach to contribute in generating a comprehensive somatotopic model of fingers.

  10. Bilateral representations of touch in the primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Tamè, Luigi; Braun, Christoph; Holmes, Nicholas P; Farnè, Alessandro; Pavani, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    According to current textbook knowledge, the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) supports unilateral tactile representations, whereas structures beyond SI, in particular the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII), support bilateral tactile representations. However, dexterous and well-coordinated bimanual motor tasks require early integration of bilateral tactile information. Sequential processing, first of unilateral and subsequently of bilateral sensory information, might not be sufficient to accomplish these tasks. This view of sequential processing in the somatosensory system might therefore be questioned, at least for demanding bimanual tasks. Evidence from the last 15 years is forcing a revision of this textbook notion. Studies in animals and humans indicate that SI is more than a simple relay for unilateral sensory information and, together with SII, contributes to the integration of somatosensory inputs from both sides of the body. Here, we review a series of recent works from our own and other laboratories in favour of interactions between tactile stimuli on the two sides of the body at early stages of processing. We focus on tactile processing, although a similar logic may also apply to other aspects of somatosensation. We begin by describing the basic anatomy and physiology of interhemispheric transfer, drawing on neurophysiological studies in animals and behavioural studies in humans that showed tactile interactions between body sides, both in healthy and in brain-damaged individuals. Then we describe the neural substrates of bilateral interactions in somatosensation as revealed by neurophysiological work in animals and neuroimaging studies in humans (i.e., functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation). Finally, we conclude with considerations on the dilemma of how efficiently integrating bilateral sensory information at early processing stages can coexist with more lateralized representations of

  11. Neural correlates of ticklishness in the rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Ishiyama, S; Brecht, M

    2016-11-11

    Rats emit ultrasonic vocalizations in response to tickling by humans. Tickling is rewarding through dopaminergic mechanisms, but the function and neural correlates of ticklishness are unknown. We confirmed that tickling of rats evoked vocalizations, approach, and unsolicited jumps (Freudensprünge). Recordings in the trunk region of the rat somatosensory cortex showed intense tickling-evoked activity in most neurons, whereas a minority of cells were suppressed by tickling. Tickling responses predicted nontactile neural responses to play behaviors, which suggests a neuronal link between tickling and play. Anxiogenic conditions suppressed tickling-evoked vocalizations and trunk cortex activity. Deep-layer trunk cortex neurons discharged during vocalizations, and deep-layer microstimulation evoked vocalizations. Our findings provide evidence for deep-layer trunk cortex activity as a neural correlate of ticklishness.

  12. Prefrontal Cortex and Somatosensory Cortex in Tactile Crossmodal Association: An Independent Component Analysis of ERP Recordings

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Liping; Lenz, Fred A.; Hsiao, Steven S.; Bodner, Mark; Hong, Bo; Zhou, Yong-Di

    2007-01-01

    Our previous studies on scalp-recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) showed that somatosensory N140 evoked by a tactile vibration in working memory tasks was enhanced when human subjects expected a coming visual stimulus that had been paired with the tactile stimulus. The results suggested that such enhancement represented the cortical activities involved in tactile-visual crossmodal association. In the present study, we further hypothesized that the enhancement represented the neural activities in somatosensory and frontal cortices in the crossmodal association. By applying independent component analysis (ICA) to the ERP data, we found independent components (ICs) located in the medial prefrontal cortex (around the anterior cingulate cortex, ACC) and the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). The activity represented by the IC in SI cortex showed enhancement in expectation of the visual stimulus. Such differential activity thus suggested the participation of SI cortex in the task-related crossmodal association. Further, the coherence analysis and the Granger causality spectral analysis of the ICs showed that SI cortex appeared to cooperate with ACC in attention and perception of the tactile stimulus in crossmodal association. The results of our study support with new evidence an important idea in cortical neurophysiology: higher cognitive operations develop from the modality-specific sensory cortices (in the present study, SI cortex) that are involved in sensation and perception of various stimuli. PMID:17712419

  13. Depicting the inner and outer nose: the representation of the nose and the nasal mucosa on the human primary somatosensory cortex (SI).

    PubMed

    Gastl, Mareike; Brünner, Yvonne F; Wiesmann, Martin; Freiherr, Jessica

    2014-09-01

    The nose is important not only for breathing, filtering air, and perceiving olfactory stimuli. Although the face and hands have been mapped, the representation of the internal and external surface of the nose on the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) is still poorly understood. To fill this gap functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to localize the nose and the nasal mucosa in the Brodman areas (BAs) 3b, 1, and 2 of the human postcentral gyrus (PG). Tactile stimulation during fMRI was applied via a customized pneumatically driven device to six stimulation sites: the alar wing of the nose, the lateral nasal mucosa, and the hand (serving as a reference area) on the left and right side of the body. Individual representations could be discriminated for the left and right hand, for the left nasal mucosa and left alar wing of the nose in BA 3b and BA 1 by comparing mean activation maxima and Euclidean distances. Right-sided nasal conditions and conditions in BA 2 could further be separated by different Euclidean distances. Regarding the alar wing of the nose, the results concurred with the classic sensory homunculus proposed by Penfield and colleagues. The nasal mucosa was not only determined an individual and bilateral representation, its position on the somatosensory cortex is also situated closer to the caudal end of the PG compared to that of the alar wing of the nose and the hand. As SI is commonly activated during the perception of odors, these findings underscore the importance of the knowledge of the representation of the nasal mucosa on the primary somatosensory cortex, especially for interpretation of results of functional imaging studies about the sense of smell.

  14. The human primary somatosensory cortex response contains components related to stimulus frequency and perception in a frequency discrimination task.

    PubMed

    Liu, L C; Fenwick, P B C; Laskaris, N A; Schellens, M; PoghosyaN, V; Shibata, T; Ioannides, A A

    2003-01-01

    Somatosensory stimulation of primary somatosensory cortex (SI) using frequency discrimination offers a direct, well-defined and accessible way of studying cortical decisions at the locus of early input processing. Animal studies have identified and classified the neuronal responses in SI but they have not yet resolved whether during prolonged stimulation the collective SI response just passively reflects the input or actively participates in the comparison and decision processes. This question was investigated using tomographic analysis of single trial magnetoencephalographic data. Four right-handed males participated in a frequency discrimination task to detect changes in the frequency of an electrical stimulus applied to the right-hand digits 2+3+4. The subjects received approximately 600 pairs of stimuli with Stim1 always at 21 Hz, while Stim2 was either 21 Hz (50%) or varied from 22 to 29 Hz in steps of 1 Hz. Both stimuli were 1 s duration, separated by a 1 s interval of no stimulation. The left-SI was the most consistently activated area and showed the first activation peak at 35-48 ms after Stim1 onset and sustained activity during both stimulus periods. During the Stim2 period, we found that the left-SI activation started to differ significantly between two groups of trials (21 versus 26-29 Hz) within the first 100 ms and this difference was sustained and enhanced thereafter (approximately 600 ms). When only correct responses from the above two groups were used, the difference was even higher at later latencies (approximately 650 ms). For one subject who had enough trials of same perception to different input frequencies, e.g. responded 21 Hz to Stim2 at 21 Hz (correct) and 26-29 Hz (error), we found the sustained difference only before 650 ms. Our results suggest that SI is involved with the analysis of an input frequency and related to perception and decision at different latencies.

  15. Gamma oscillations in the somatosensory cortex of newborn rats.

    PubMed

    Gerasimova, E V; Zakharov, A V; Lebedeva, Yu A; Inacio, A R; Minlebaev, M G; Sitdikova, G F; Khazipov, R N

    2014-01-01

    Here we addressed a question of whether gamma oscillations previously described in the whisker-related barrel cortex are a universal pattern of activity in the somatosensory cortex of newborn rats. Intracortical recording of local field potentials and action potentials in neurons using multisite silicon electrodes in 2-7-day-old rats showed that mechanical stimulation of single fingers or specific areas on the plantar or back side of the foot evoked early gamma oscillations followed by spindle-burst oscillations in the corresponding regions of the somatosensory cortex. Early gamma oscillations had maximum amplitude in layer IV of the somatosensory cortex and effectively synchronized action potentials in layer IV neurons. It was concluded that early gamma oscillations evoked by activation of the topographic sensory input are a universal activity pattern of the entire somatosensory cortex of newborn rats.

  16. Adaptation in human somatosensory cortex as a model of sensory memory construction: a study using high-density EEG.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Claire; Joyce, Niamh; Garcia-Larrea, Luis

    2016-01-01

    Adaptation in sensory cortices has been seen as a mechanism allowing the creation of transient memory representations. Here we tested the adapting properties of early responses in human somatosensory areas SI and SII by analysing somatosensory-evoked potentials over the very first repetitions of a stimulus. SI and SII generators were identified by well-defined scalp potentials and source localisation from high-density 128-channel EEG. Earliest responses (~20 ms) from area 3b in the depth of the post-central gyrus did not show significant adaptation to stimuli repeated at 300 ms intervals. In contrast, responses around 45 ms from the crown of the gyrus (areas 1 and 2) rapidly lessened to a plateau and abated at the 20th stimulation, and activities from SII in the parietal operculum at ~100 ms displayed strong adaptation with a steady amplitude decrease from the first repetition. Although responses in both SI (1-2) and SII areas showed adapting properties and hence sensory memory capacities, evidence of sensory mismatch detection has been demonstrated only for responses reflecting SII activation. This may index the passage from an early form of sensory storage in SI to more operational memory codes in SII, allowing the prediction of forthcoming input and the triggering of a specific signal when such input differs from the previous sequence. This is consistent with a model whereby the length of temporal receptive windows increases with progression in the cortical hierarchy, in parallel with the complexity and abstraction of neural representations.

  17. Within-digit functional parcellation of Brodmann areas of the human primary somatosensory cortex using functional magnetic resonance imaging at 7 tesla.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Panchuelo, Rosa M; Besle, Julien; Beckett, Alex; Bowtell, Richard; Schluppeck, Denis; Francis, Susan

    2012-11-07

    The primary somatosensory cortex (S1) can be subdivided cytoarchitectonically into four distinct Brodmann areas (3a, 3b, 1, and 2), but these areas have never been successfully delineated in vivo in single human subjects. Here, we demonstrate the functional parcellation of four areas of S1 in individual human subjects based on high-resolution functional MRI measurements made at 7 T using vibrotactile stimulation. By stimulating four sites along the length of the index finger, we were able to identify and locate map reversals of the base to tip representation of the index finger in S1. We suggest that these reversals correspond to the areal borders between the mirrored representations in the four Brodmann areas, as predicted from electrophysiology measurements in nonhuman primates. In all subjects, maps were highly reproducible across scanning sessions and stable over weeks. In four of the six subjects scanned, four, mirrored, within-finger somatotopic maps defining the extent of the Brodmann areas could be directly observed on the cortical surface. In addition, by using multivariate classification analysis, the location of stimulation on the index finger (four distinct sites) could be decoded with a mean accuracy of 65% across subjects. Our measurements thus show that within-finger topography is present at the millimeter scale in the cortex and is highly reproducible. The ability to identify functional areas of S1 in vivo in individual subjects will provide a framework for investigating more complex aspects of tactile representation in S1.

  18. Inhibitory modulation of cat somatosensory cortex: a pharmacological study.

    PubMed

    Brailowsky, S; Knight, R T

    1984-11-26

    In anesthetized preparations, GABA and taurine produced rapid, reversible inhibition of the negative component (N20) of the primary somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) without effect on the earlier positivity (P11). This effect was also produced by low doses of 4-aminopyridine. Neither bicuculline or picrotoxin antagonized these drug effects. A predominance of type B GABA receptors in the superficial layers of the somatosensory cortex is proposed.

  19. Pulse-train Stimulation of Primary Somatosensory Cortex Blocks Pain Perception in Tail Clip Test.

    PubMed

    Lee, Soohyun; Hwang, Eunjin; Lee, Dongmyeong; Choi, Jee Hyun

    2017-04-01

    Human studies of brain stimulation have demonstrated modulatory effects on the perception of pain. However, whether the primary somatosensory cortical activity is associated with antinociceptive responses remains unknown. Therefore, we examined the antinociceptive effects of neuronal activity evoked by optogenetic stimulation of primary somatosensory cortex. Optogenetic transgenic mice were subjected to continuous or pulse-train optogenetic stimulation of the primary somatosensory cortex at frequencies of 15, 30, and 40 Hz, during a tail clip test. Reaction time was measured using a digital high-speed video camera. Pulse-train optogenetic stimulation of primary somatosensory cortex showed a delayed pain response with respect to a tail clip, whereas no significant change in reaction time was observed with continuous stimulation. In response to the pulse-train stimulation, video monitoring and local field potential recording revealed associated paw movement and sensorimotor rhythms, respectively. Our results show that optogenetic stimulation of primary somatosensory cortex at beta and gamma frequencies blocks transmission of pain signals in tail clip test.

  20. Representational overlap of adjacent fingers in multiple areas of human primary somatosensory cortex depends on electrical stimulus intensity: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Krause, T; Kurth, R; Ruben, J; Schwiemann, J; Villringer, K; Deuchert, M; Moosmann, M; Brandt, S; Wolf, K; Curio, G; Villringer, A

    2001-04-27

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine the influence of non-painful electrical stimulus intensity on the BOLD response in human primary somatosensory cortex (SI). In ten healthy subjects, index and middle finger of the right hand were stimulated separately at two different stimulus intensities. The activated volume of single finger representations as well as the volume of representational overlap of the two activations increased following an increase in stimulus intensity. This effect was seen in two different subdivisions of SI, one in the depth of the central sulcus, presumably corresponding to Brodmann area (BA) 3b, and one on the crown of the postcentral gyrus, presumably corresponding to BA 1/2. Relative overlap (ratio of overlap volume to volume of individual finger representation) was larger in BA 1/2 than in BA 3b. Additionally, in both areas relative overlap increased significantly from low to high stimulus intensity. Relative overlap did not change when different correlation thresholds were employed arguing against an unspecific 'spillover effect'. Analysis of signal intensity time courses indicated that the response difference to high versus low stimulus strength was not present during the initial seconds of stimulation, during which both led to a similar signal intensity increase. Only during the following maintenance level of the response did the response to high stimulus intensity reach a significantly higher plateau level than the one due to low intensity stimulation, an effect which was present in both areas, BA 3b and BA 1/2, respectively.

  1. Auditory, Somatosensory, and Multisensory Insular Cortex in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Rodgers, Krista M.; Benison, Alexander M.; Klein, Andrea

    2008-01-01

    Compared with other areas of the forebrain, the function of insular cortex is poorly understood. This study examined the unisensory and multisensory function of the rat insula using high-resolution, whole-hemisphere, epipial evoked potential mapping. We found the posterior insula to contain distinct auditory and somatotopically organized somatosensory fields with an interposed and overlapping region capable of integrating these sensory modalities. Unisensory and multisensory responses were uninfluenced by complete lesioning of primary and secondary auditory and somatosensory cortices, suggesting a high degree of parallel afferent input from the thalamus. In light of the established connections of the posterior insula with the amygdala, we propose that integration of auditory and somatosensory modalities reported here may play a role in auditory fear conditioning. PMID:18424777

  2. Functional Plasticity in Somatosensory Cortex Supports Motor Learning by Observing.

    PubMed

    McGregor, Heather R; Cashaback, Joshua G A; Gribble, Paul L

    2016-04-04

    An influential idea in neuroscience is that the sensory-motor system is activated when observing the actions of others [1, 2]. This idea has recently been extended to motor learning, in which observation results in sensory-motor plasticity and behavioral changes in both motor and somatosensory domains [3-9]. However, it is unclear how the brain maps visual information onto motor circuits for learning. Here we test the idea that the somatosensory system, and specifically primary somatosensory cortex (S1), plays a role in motor learning by observing. In experiment 1, we applied stimulation to the median nerve to occupy the somatosensory system with unrelated inputs while participants observed a tutor learning to reach in a force field. Stimulation disrupted motor learning by observing in a limb-specific manner. Stimulation delivered to the right arm (the same arm used by the tutor) disrupted learning, whereas left arm stimulation did not. This is consistent with the idea that a somatosensory representation of the observed effector must be available during observation for learning to occur. In experiment 2, we assessed S1 cortical processing before and after observation by measuring somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) associated with median nerve stimulation. SEP amplitudes increased only for participants who observed learning. Moreover, SEPs increased more for participants who exhibited greater motor learning following observation. Taken together, these findings support the idea that motor learning by observing relies on functional plasticity in S1. We propose that visual signals about the movements of others are mapped onto motor circuits for learning via the somatosensory system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Discrimination of Finger Area of Somatosensory Cortex by NIRS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Mingdi; Hayami, Takehito; Iramina, Keiji

    We carried out a near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) study to observe the hemodynamic responses associated with cortical activation in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) by finger electrical stimulation. We examined whether NIRS can assist in investigating the somatotopic arrangement of fingers on the SI hand area. We found that although relatively low in spatial resolution, NIRS can to some extent help to discriminate the representations of thumb and ring finger on the SI hand area.

  4. Painful focal sensory seizure arising from the primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Yazawa, Shogo; Ikeda, Akio; Sawamoto, Nobukatsu; Terada, Kiyohito; Fukuyama, Hidenao; Tanaka, Mayako; Shibasaki, Hiroshi

    2003-09-01

    A 31-year-old, right-handed woman had frequent focal painful seizures involving the right hand without any movement. EEG demonstrated an ictal activity arising from the left centroparietal region. No cerebral structural abnormality was seen on MRI. Ictal single photon emission CT showed markedly increased activity in the left perirolandic cortex, which remained active following the ictal symptoms when the EEG seizure pattern had completely disappeared. It is concluded that the painful seizures in the present patient originated from the primary somatosensory cortex. The prolonged increase of regional blood flow in the perirolandic area may reflect the possibility of persistent subclinical epileptogenicity.

  5. Shape Invariant Coding of Motion Direction in Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pei, Yu-Cheng; Hsiao, Steven S.; Craig, James C.; Bensmaia, Sliman J.

    2010-01-01

    Invariant representations of stimulus features are thought to play an important role in producing stable percepts of objects. In the present study, we assess the invariance of neural representations of tactile motion direction with respect to other stimulus properties. To this end, we record the responses evoked in individual neurons in somatosensory cortex of primates, including areas 3b, 1, and 2, by three types of motion stimuli, namely scanned bars and dot patterns, and random dot displays, presented to the fingertips of macaque monkeys. We identify a population of neurons in area 1 that is highly sensitive to the direction of stimulus motion and whose motion signals are invariant across stimulus types and conditions. The motion signals conveyed by individual neurons in area 1 can account for the ability of human observers to discriminate the direction of motion of these stimuli, as measured in paired psychophysical experiments. We conclude that area 1 contains a robust representation of motion and discuss similarities in the neural mechanisms of visual and tactile motion processing. PMID:20126380

  6. Neuronal activity in somatosensory cortex related to tactile exploration.

    PubMed

    Fortier-Poisson, Pascal; Smith, Allan M

    2016-01-01

    The very light contact forces (∼0.60 N) applied by the fingertips during tactile exploration reveal a clearly optimized sensorimotor strategy. To investigate the cortical mechanisms involved with this behavior, we recorded 230 neurons in the somatosensory cortex (S1), as two monkeys scanned different surfaces with the fingertips in search of a tactile target without visual feedback. During the exploration, the monkeys, like humans, carefully controlled the finger forces. High-friction surfaces offering greater tangential shear force resistance to the skin were associated with decreased normal contact forces. The activity of one group of neurons was modulated with either the normal or tangential force, with little or no influence from the orthogonal force component. A second group responded to kinetic friction or the ratio of tangential to normal forces rather than responding to a specific parameter, such as force magnitude or direction. A third group of S1 neurons appeared to respond to particular vectors of normal and tangential force on the skin. Although 45 neurons correlated with scanning speed, 32 were also modulated by finger forces, suggesting that forces on the finger should be considered as the primary parameter encoding the skin compliance and that finger speed is a secondary parameter that co-varies with finger forces. Neurons (102) were also tested with different textures, and the activity of 62 of these increased or decreased in relation to the surface friction.

  7. Neuronal activity in somatosensory cortex related to tactile exploration

    PubMed Central

    Fortier-Poisson, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    The very light contact forces (∼0.60 N) applied by the fingertips during tactile exploration reveal a clearly optimized sensorimotor strategy. To investigate the cortical mechanisms involved with this behavior, we recorded 230 neurons in the somatosensory cortex (S1), as two monkeys scanned different surfaces with the fingertips in search of a tactile target without visual feedback. During the exploration, the monkeys, like humans, carefully controlled the finger forces. High-friction surfaces offering greater tangential shear force resistance to the skin were associated with decreased normal contact forces. The activity of one group of neurons was modulated with either the normal or tangential force, with little or no influence from the orthogonal force component. A second group responded to kinetic friction or the ratio of tangential to normal forces rather than responding to a specific parameter, such as force magnitude or direction. A third group of S1 neurons appeared to respond to particular vectors of normal and tangential force on the skin. Although 45 neurons correlated with scanning speed, 32 were also modulated by finger forces, suggesting that forces on the finger should be considered as the primary parameter encoding the skin compliance and that finger speed is a secondary parameter that co-varies with finger forces. Neurons (102) were also tested with different textures, and the activity of 62 of these increased or decreased in relation to the surface friction. PMID:26467519

  8. Illusory and veridical mapping of tactile objects in the primary somatosensory and posterior parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Bufalari, Ilaria; Di Russo, Francesco; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2014-07-01

    While several behavioral and neuroscience studies have explored visual, auditory, and cross-modal illusions, information about the phenomenology and neural correlates of somatosensory illusions is meager. By combining psychophysics and somatosensory evoked potentials, we explored in healthy humans the neural correlates of 2 compelling tactuo-proprioceptive illusions, namely Aristotle (1 object touching the contact area between 2 crossed fingers is perceived as 2 lateral objects) and Reverse illusions (2 lateral objects are perceived as 1 between crossed-fingers object). These illusions likely occur because of the tactuo-proprioceptive conflict induced by fingers being crossed in a non-natural posture. We found that different regions in the somatosensory stream exhibit different proneness to the illusions. Early electroencephalographic somatosensory activity (at 20 ms) originating in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) reflects the phenomenal rather than the physical properties of the stimuli. Notably, later activity (around 200 ms) originating in the posterior parietal cortex is higher when subjects resist the illusions. Thus, while S1 activity is related to illusory perception, PPC acts as a conflict resolver that recodes tactile events from somatotopic to spatiotopic frames of reference and ultimately enables veridical perception. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Origins of choice-related activity in mouse somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hongdian; Kwon, Sung E.; Severson, Kyle S.; O’Connor, Daniel H.

    2015-01-01

    During perceptual decisions about faint or ambiguous sensory stimuli, even identical stimuli can produce different choices. Spike trains from sensory cortex neurons can predict trial-to-trial variability in choice. Choice-related spiking is widely studied to link cortical activity to perception, but its origins remain unclear. Using imaging and electrophysiology, we found that mouse primary somatosensory cortex neurons showed robust choice-related activity during a tactile detection task. Spike trains from primary mechanoreceptive neurons did not predict choices about identical stimuli. Spike trains from thalamic relay neurons showed highly transient, weak choice-related activity. Intracellular recordings in cortex revealed a prolonged choice-related depolarization in most neurons that was not accounted for by feedforward thalamic input. Top-down axons projecting from secondary to primary somatosensory cortex signaled choice. An intracellular measure of stimulus sensitivity determined which neurons converted choice-related depolarization into spiking. Our results reveal how choice-related spiking emerges across neural circuits and within single neurons. PMID:26642088

  10. Somatosensory response properties of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in rat motor cortex

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Peter D.

    2011-01-01

    In sensory cortical networks, peripheral inputs differentially activate excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Inhibitory neurons typically have larger responses and broader receptive field tuning compared with excitatory neurons. These differences are thought to underlie the powerful feedforward inhibition that occurs in response to sensory input. In the motor cortex, as in the somatosensory cortex, cutaneous and proprioceptive somatosensory inputs, generated before and during movement, strongly and dynamically modulate the activity of motor neurons involved in a movement and ultimately shape cortical command. Human studies suggest that somatosensory inputs modulate motor cortical activity in a center excitation, surround inhibition manner such that input from the activated muscle excites motor cortical neurons that project to it, whereas somatosensory input from nearby, nonactivated muscles inhibit these neurons. A key prediction of this hypothesis is that inhibitory and excitatory motor cortical neurons respond differently to somatosensory inputs. We tested this prediction with the use of multisite extracellular recordings in anesthetized rats. We found that fast-spiking (presumably inhibitory) neurons respond to tactile and proprioceptive inputs at shorter latencies and larger response magnitudes compared with regular-spiking (presumably excitatory) neurons. In contrast, we found no differences in the receptive field size of these neuronal populations. Strikingly, all fast-spiking neuron pairs analyzed with cross-correlation analysis displayed common excitation, which was significantly more prevalent than common excitation for regular-spiking neuron pairs. These findings suggest that somatosensory inputs preferentially evoke feedforward inhibition in the motor cortex. We suggest that this provides a mechanism for dynamic selection of motor cortical modules during voluntary movements. PMID:21653707

  11. Somatosensory response properties of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in rat motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Murray, Peter D; Keller, Asaf

    2011-09-01

    In sensory cortical networks, peripheral inputs differentially activate excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Inhibitory neurons typically have larger responses and broader receptive field tuning compared with excitatory neurons. These differences are thought to underlie the powerful feedforward inhibition that occurs in response to sensory input. In the motor cortex, as in the somatosensory cortex, cutaneous and proprioceptive somatosensory inputs, generated before and during movement, strongly and dynamically modulate the activity of motor neurons involved in a movement and ultimately shape cortical command. Human studies suggest that somatosensory inputs modulate motor cortical activity in a center excitation, surround inhibition manner such that input from the activated muscle excites motor cortical neurons that project to it, whereas somatosensory input from nearby, nonactivated muscles inhibit these neurons. A key prediction of this hypothesis is that inhibitory and excitatory motor cortical neurons respond differently to somatosensory inputs. We tested this prediction with the use of multisite extracellular recordings in anesthetized rats. We found that fast-spiking (presumably inhibitory) neurons respond to tactile and proprioceptive inputs at shorter latencies and larger response magnitudes compared with regular-spiking (presumably excitatory) neurons. In contrast, we found no differences in the receptive field size of these neuronal populations. Strikingly, all fast-spiking neuron pairs analyzed with cross-correlation analysis displayed common excitation, which was significantly more prevalent than common excitation for regular-spiking neuron pairs. These findings suggest that somatosensory inputs preferentially evoke feedforward inhibition in the motor cortex. We suggest that this provides a mechanism for dynamic selection of motor cortical modules during voluntary movements.

  12. Seeing is not feeling: posterior parietal but not somatosensory cortex engagement during touch observation.

    PubMed

    Chan, Annie W-Y; Baker, Chris I

    2015-01-28

    Observing touch has been reported to elicit activation in human primary and secondary somatosensory cortices and is suggested to underlie our ability to interpret other's behavior and potentially empathy. However, despite these reports, there are a large number of inconsistencies in terms of the precise topography of activation, the extent of hemispheric lateralization, and what aspects of the stimulus are necessary to drive responses. To address these issues, we investigated the localization and functional properties of regions responsive to observed touch in a large group of participants (n = 40). Surprisingly, even with a lenient contrast of hand brushing versus brushing alone, we did not find any selective activation for observed touch in the hand regions of somatosensory cortex but rather in superior and inferior portions of neighboring posterior parietal cortex, predominantly in the left hemisphere. These regions in the posterior parietal cortex required the presence of both brush and hand to elicit strong responses and showed some selectivity for the form of the object or agent of touch. Furthermore, the inferior parietal region showed nonspecific tactile and motor responses, suggesting some similarity to area PFG in the monkey. Collectively, our findings challenge the automatic engagement of somatosensory cortex when observing touch, suggest mislocalization in previous studies, and instead highlight the role of posterior parietal cortex.

  13. Visual Responses of Neurons in Somatosensory Cortex of Hamsters with Experimentally Induced Retinal Projections to Somatosensory Thalamus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metin, Christine; Frost, Douglas O.

    1989-01-01

    These experiments investigate the capacity of thalamic and cortical structures in a sensory system to process information of a modality normally associated with another system. Retinal ganglion cells in newborn Syrian hamsters were made to project permanently to the main thalamic somatosensory (ventrobasal) nucleus. When the animals were adults, single unit recordings were made in the somatosensory cortices, the principal targets of the ventrobasal nucleus. The somatosensory neurons responded to visual stimulation of distinct receptive fields, and their response properties resembled, in several characteristic features, those of normal visual cortical neurons. In the visual cortex of normal animals and the somatosensory cortex of operated animals, the same functional categories of neurons occurred in similar proportions, and the neurons' selectivity for the orientation or direction of movement of visual stimuli was comparable. These results suggest that thalamic nuclei or cortical areas at corresponding levels in the visual and somatosensory pathways perform similar transformations on their inputs.

  14. Beyond the Peak - Tactile Temporal Discrimination Does Not Correlate with Individual Peak Frequencies in Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Baumgarten, Thomas J; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim

    2017-01-01

    The human sensory systems constantly receive input from different stimuli. Whether these stimuli are integrated into a coherent percept or segregated and perceived as separate events, is critically determined by the temporal distance of the stimuli. This temporal distance has prompted the concept of temporal integration windows or perceptual cycles. Although this concept has gained considerable support, the neuronal correlates are still discussed. Studies suggested that neuronal oscillations might provide a neuronal basis for such perceptual cycles, i.e., the cycle lengths of alpha oscillations in visual cortex and beta oscillations in somatosensory cortex might determine the length of perceptual cycles. Specifically, recent studies reported that the peak frequency (the frequency with the highest spectral power) of alpha oscillations in visual cortex correlates with subjects' ability to discriminate two visual stimuli. In the present study, we investigated whether peak frequencies in somatosensory cortex might serve as the correlate of perceptual cycles in tactile discrimination. Despite several different approaches, we were unable to find a significant correlation between individual peak frequencies in the alpha- and beta-band and individual discrimination abilities. In addition, analysis of Bayes factor provided evidence that peak frequencies and discrimination thresholds are unrelated. The results suggest that perceptual cycles in the somatosensory domain are not necessarily to be found in the peak frequency, but in other frequencies. We argue that studies based solely on analysis of peak frequencies might thus miss relevant information.

  15. Sleep deprivation affects somatosensory cortex excitability as tested through median nerve stimulation.

    PubMed

    Gorgoni, Maurizio; Ferlazzo, Fabio; Moroni, Fabio; D'Atri, Aurora; Donarelli, Stefania; Fanelli, Stefania; Gizzi Torriglia, Isabella; Lauri, Giulia; Ferrara, Michele; Marzano, Cristina; Rossini, Paolo Maria; Bramanti, Placido; De Gennaro, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Changes of cortical excitability after sleep deprivation (SD) in humans have been investigated mostly in motor cortex, while there is little empirical evidence concerning somatosensory cortex, and its plastic changes across SD. To assess excitability of primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and EEG voltage topographical characteristics associated with somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) during SD. Across 41 h of SD, 16 healthy subjects participated in 4 experimental sessions (11.00 a.m. and 11.00 p.m. of the 1st and 2nd day) with: a) subjective sleepiness ratings; b) EEG recordings; c) SEPs recordings; d) behavioral vigilance responses. A clear enhancement of cortical excitability after SD was indexed by: (a) an amplitude increase of different SEPs component in S1; (b) higher voltage in occipital (around 35-43 ms) and fronto-central areas (around 47-62 ms). Circadian fluctuations did not affect cortical excitability. Voltage changes in S1 were strongly related with post-SD fluctuations of subjective and behavioral sleepiness. Sleep may have a role in keeping cortical excitability at optimal (namely below potentially dangerous) levels for the human brain, rebalancing progressive changes in cortical responsiveness to incoming inputs occurred during time spent awake. On the other hand, higher level of cortical responsiveness after sleep loss may be one of the mechanisms accounting for post-SD alterations in vigilance and behavior. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Brain micromotion around implants in the rodent somatosensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilletti, Aaron; Muthuswamy, Jit

    2006-09-01

    The magnitude of brain tissue micromotion relative to stationary brain implants and its impact on the viability and function of the surrounding brain tissue due to mechanical stresses is poorly understood. The central goal of this study is to characterize surface micromotion in the somatosensory cortex against stationary cylindrical implants. We used a differential variable reluctance transducer (DVRT) in adult rats (n = 6) to monitor micromotion normal to the somatosensory cortex surface. Experiments were performed both in the presence and in the absence of dura mater and displacement measurements were made at three different locations within craniotomies of two different sizes. In anesthetized rats, pulsatile surface micromotion was observed to be in the order of 10-30 µm due to pressure changes during respiration and 2-4 µm due to vascular pulsatility. Brain displacement values due to respiration were significantly lower in the presence of the dura compared to those without the dura. In addition, large inward displacements of brain tissue between 10-60 µm were observed in n = 3 animals immediately following the administration of anesthesia. Such significant micromotion can impact a wide variety of acute and chronic procedures involving any brain implants, precise neurosurgery or imaging and therefore has to be factored in the design of such procedures.

  17. Decoding Visual Object Categories in Early Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Fraser W.; Goodale, Melvyn A.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons, even in the earliest sensory areas of cortex, are subject to a great deal of contextual influence from both within and across modality connections. In the present work, we investigated whether the earliest regions of somatosensory cortex (S1 and S2) would contain content-specific information about visual object categories. We reasoned that this might be possible due to the associations formed through experience that link different sensory aspects of a given object. Participants were presented with visual images of different object categories in 2 fMRI experiments. Multivariate pattern analysis revealed reliable decoding of familiar visual object category in bilateral S1 (i.e., postcentral gyri) and right S2. We further show that this decoding is observed for familiar but not unfamiliar visual objects in S1. In addition, whole-brain searchlight decoding analyses revealed several areas in the parietal lobe that could mediate the observed context effects between vision and somatosensation. These results demonstrate that even the first cortical stages of somatosensory processing carry information about the category of visually presented familiar objects. PMID:24122136

  18. Cooperative processing in primary somatosensory cortex and posterior parietal cortex during tactile working memory.

    PubMed

    Ku, Yixuan; Zhao, Di; Bodner, Mark; Zhou, Yong-Di

    2015-08-01

    In the present study, causal roles of both the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) and the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) were investigated in a tactile unimodal working memory (WM) task. Individual magnetic resonance imaging-based single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (spTMS) was applied, respectively, to the left SI (ipsilateral to tactile stimuli), right SI (contralateral to tactile stimuli) and right PPC (contralateral to tactile stimuli), while human participants were performing a tactile-tactile unimodal delayed matching-to-sample task. The time points of spTMS were 300, 600 and 900 ms after the onset of the tactile sample stimulus (duration: 200 ms). Compared with ipsilateral SI, application of spTMS over either contralateral SI or contralateral PPC at those time points significantly impaired the accuracy of task performance. Meanwhile, the deterioration in accuracy did not vary with the stimulating time points. Together, these results indicate that the tactile information is processed cooperatively by SI and PPC in the same hemisphere, starting from the early delay of the tactile unimodal WM task. This pattern of processing of tactile information is different from the pattern in tactile-visual cross-modal WM. In a tactile-visual cross-modal WM task, SI and PPC contribute to the processing sequentially, suggesting a process of sensory information transfer during the early delay between modalities.

  19. Callosal projections in rat somatosensory cortex are altered by early removal of afferent input.

    PubMed Central

    Koralek, K A; Killackey, H P

    1990-01-01

    During the first postnatal week, the distribution of callosal projection neurons in the rat somatosensory cortex changes from a uniform to a discontinuous pattern. To determine if this change is influenced by afferent inputs to the somatosensory cortex, the effect of both early unilateral infraorbital nerve section and unilateral removal of the dorsal thalamus on the distribution of callosal projections in rat somatosensory cortex was examined. One month after either of the above manipulations at birth, the tangential distribution of callosal projections in the somatosensory cortex was examined using the combined retrograde and anterograde transport of horseradish peroxidase. Both manipulations alter the distribution of callosal projection neurons and terminations in the somatosensory cortex. After infraorbital nerve section, the distribution of callosal projections is altered in the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex. The abnormalities observed are consistent with the altered distribution of thalamocortical projections. In addition, consistent abnormalities were observed in the pattern of callosal projections of the second somatosensory area of both hemispheres. Most notably, they are absent in a portion of the region that contains the representation of the mystacial vibrissae and sinus hairs in this area. Thalamic ablation resulted in highly aberrant patterns of callosal projections in the somatosensory cortex on the operated side, where abnormal bands and clusters of callosal projections were observed in apparently random locations. These results are interpreted as evidence that both peripheral and central inputs influence the maturational changes in the distribution of callosal projection neurons. Images PMID:2304906

  20. [Somatotopy and information processing in the somatosensory cortex].

    PubMed

    Iwamura, Yoshiaki

    2009-12-01

    The present article reviews studies on the somatotopic representation of the body in the postcentral gyrus. The review consists of 3 sections namely the early studies on the cortical localization of somatosensory in humans and animals, earlier neurophysiological studies in monkeys by recording single units, and more recent studies in human subjects. Results of the neurophysiological studies in monkeys established a hierarchical scheme of information processing and have guided the latest studies on human subjects that use various modern techniques such as neuroimaging. This review illustrates the origin of the concept of somatotopic representation of the body, its utilization in the later cortical mapping studies, and what is the reality of the concept.

  1. Ontogeny of somatostatin receptors in the rat somatosensory cortex

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, B.J.; Leroux, P.; Bodenant, C.; Vaudry, H. )

    1991-03-08

    The distribution and density of SRIF receptors (SRIF-R) were studied during development in the rat somatosensory cortex by in vitro autoradiography with monoiodinated (Tyr0-DTrp8)S14. In 16-day-old fetuses (E16), intense labeling was evident in the intermediate zone of the cortex while low concentrations of SRIF-R were detected in the marginal and ventricular zones. The highest density of SRIF-R was measured in the intermediate zone at E18. At this stage, labeling was also intense in the internal part of the developing cortical plate; in contrast, the concentration of binding sites associated with the marginal and ventricular zones remained relatively low. Profound modifications in the distribution of SRIF-R appeared at birth. In particular, a transient reduction of receptor density occurred in the cortical plate. During the first postnatal week, the density of receptors measured in the intermediate zone decreased gradually; conversely, high levels of SRIF-R were observed in the developing cortical layers (II to VI). At postpartum day 13 (P13), a stage which just precedes completion of cell migration in the parietal cortex, the most intensely labeled regions were layers V-VI and future layers II-III. From P13 to adulthood, the concentrations of SRIF-R decreased in all cortical layers (I to VI) and the pattern of distribution of receptors at P21 was similar to that observed in the adults.

  2. Circadian rhythmicity of synapses in mouse somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Jasinska, Malgorzata; Grzegorczyk, Anna; Woznicka, Olga; Jasek, Ewa; Kossut, Malgorzata; Barbacka-Surowiak, Grazyna; Litwin, Jan A; Pyza, Elzbieta

    2015-10-01

    The circadian rhythmicity displayed by motor behavior of mice: activity at night and rest during the day; and the associated changes in the sensory input are reflected by cyclic synaptic plasticity in the whisker representations located in the somatosensory (barrel) cortex. It was not clear whether diurnal rhythmic changes in synapse density previously observed in the barrel cortex resulted from changes in the activity of the animals, from daily light/dark (LD) rhythm or are driven by an endogenous clock. These changes were investigated in the barrel cortex of C57BL/6 mouse strain kept under LD 12 : 12 h conditions and in constant darkness (DD). Stereological analysis of serial electron microscopic sections was used to assess numerical density of synapses. In mice kept under LD conditions, the total density of synapses and the density of excitatory synapses located on dendritic spines was higher during the light period (rest phase). In contrast, the density of inhibitory synapses located on dendritic spines increased during the dark period (activity phase). Under DD conditions, the upregulation of the inhibitory synapses during the activity phase was retained, but the cyclic changes in the density of excitatory synapses were not observed. The results show that the circadian plasticity concerns only synapses located on spines (and not those on dendritic shafts), and that excitatory and inhibitory synapses are differently regulated during the 24 h cycle: the excitatory synapses are influenced by light, whilst the inhibitory synapses are driven by the endogenous circadian clock.

  3. Infrared thermal imaging of rat somatosensory cortex with whisker stimulation.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Takashi; Ooi, Yasuhiro; Seki, Junji

    2012-04-01

    The present study aims to validate the applicability of infrared (IR) thermal imaging for the study of brain function through experiments on the rat barrel cortex. Regional changes in neural activity within the brain produce alterations in local thermal equilibrium via increases in metabolic activity and blood flow. We studied the relationship between temperature change and neural activity in anesthetized rats using IR imaging to visualize stimulus-induced changes in the somatosensory cortex of the brain. Sensory stimulation of the vibrissae (whiskers) was given for 10 s using an oscillating whisker vibrator (5-mm deflection at 10, 5, and 1 Hz). The brain temperature in the observational region continued to increase significantly with whisker stimulation. The mean peak recorded temperature changes were 0.048 ± 0.028, 0.054 ± 0.036, and 0.097 ± 0.015°C at 10, 5, and 1 Hz, respectively. We also observed that the temperature increase occurred in a focal spot, radiating to encompass a larger region within the contralateral barrel cortex region during single-whisker stimulation. Whisker stimulation also produced ipsilateral cortex temperature increases, which were localized in the same region as the pial arterioles. Temperature increase in the barrel cortex was also observed in rats treated with a calcium channel blocker (nimodipine), which acts to suppress the hemodynamic response to neural activity. Thus the location and area of temperature increase were found to change in accordance with the region of neural activation. These results indicate that IR thermal imaging is viable as a functional quantitative neuroimaging technique.

  4. Suppression of vibrotactile discrimination by transcranial magnetic stimulation of primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Morley, J W; Vickery, R M; Stuart, M; Turman, A B

    2007-08-01

    A number of human and animal studies have reported a differential representation of the frequency of vibrotactile stimuli in the somatosensory cortices: neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) are predominantly responsive to lower frequencies of tactile vibration, and those in the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) are predominantly responsive to higher frequencies. We employed transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over SI in human subjects to investigate the extent to which the inactivation of SI disrupted the discrimination of vibrotactile stimulation at frequencies that give rise to the tactile sensations of flutter (30 Hz) and vibration (200 Hz). Frequency discrimination around the 30-Hz standard following application of TMS to SI was reduced in seven of the eight subjects, and around the 200-Hz standard was reduced in all eight subjects. The average change in discrimination following TMS was about 20% for both low and high frequencies of vibrotactile stimulation. These data suggest that disruption of SI: (1) has a direct effect on the discrimination of both low and high frequencies of vibrotactile stimuli, consistent with a serial model of processing, or (2) has a direct effect on low-frequency vibrotactile stimuli and an indirect effect on the processing of high-frequency vibrotactile stimuli by SII via cortico-cortical connections between the two regions.

  5. Microglia contact induces synapse formation in developing somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Miyamoto, Akiko; Wake, Hiroaki; Ishikawa, Ayako Wendy; Eto, Kei; Shibata, Keisuke; Murakoshi, Hideji; Koizumi, Schuichi; Moorhouse, Andrew J.; Yoshimura, Yumiko; Nabekura, Junichi

    2016-01-01

    Microglia are the immune cells of the central nervous system that play important roles in brain pathologies. Microglia also help shape neuronal circuits during development, via phagocytosing weak synapses and regulating neurogenesis. Using in vivo multiphoton imaging of layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the developing somatosensory cortex, we demonstrate here that microglial contact with dendrites directly induces filopodia formation. This filopodia formation occurs only around postnatal day 8–10, a period of intense synaptogenesis and when microglia have an activated phenotype. Filopodia formation is preceded by contact-induced Ca2+ transients and actin accumulation. Inhibition of microglia by genetic ablation decreases subsequent spine density, functional excitatory synapses and reduces the relative connectivity from layer 4 neurons. Our data provide the direct demonstration of microglial-induced spine formation and provide further insights into immune system regulation of neuronal circuit development, with potential implications for developmental disorders of immune and brain dysfunction. PMID:27558646

  6. Decoding stimulus features in primate somatosensory cortex during perceptual categorization

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez, Manuel; Zainos, Antonio; Romo, Ranulfo

    2015-01-01

    Neurons of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) respond as functions of frequency or amplitude of a vibrotactile stimulus. However, whether S1 neurons encode both frequency and amplitude of the vibrotactile stimulus or whether each sensory feature is encoded by separate populations of S1 neurons is not known, To further address these questions, we recorded S1 neurons while trained monkeys categorized only one sensory feature of the vibrotactile stimulus: frequency, amplitude, or duration. The results suggest a hierarchical encoding scheme in S1: from neurons that encode all sensory features of the vibrotactile stimulus to neurons that encode only one sensory feature. We hypothesize that the dynamic representation of each sensory feature in S1 might serve for further downstream processing that leads to the monkey’s psychophysical behavior observed in these tasks. PMID:25825711

  7. Behavioral detection of passive whisker stimuli requires somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Miyashita, Toshio; Feldman, Daniel E

    2013-07-01

    Rodent whisker sensation occurs both actively, as whiskers move rhythmically across objects, and in a passive mode in which externally applied deflections are sensed by static, non-moving whiskers. Passive whisker stimuli are robustly encoded in the somatosensory (S1) cortex, and provide a potentially powerful means of studying cortical processing. However, whether S1 contributes to passive sensation is debated. We developed 2 new behavioral tasks to assay passive whisker sensation in freely moving rats: Detection of unilateral whisker deflections and discrimination of right versus left whisker deflections. Stimuli were simple, simultaneous multi-whisker deflections. Local muscimol inactivation of S1 reversibly and robustly abolished sensory performance on these tasks. Thus, S1 is required for the detection and discrimination of simple stimuli by passive whiskers, in addition to its known role in active whisker sensation.

  8. Behavioral Detection of Passive Whisker Stimuli Requires Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Miyashita, Toshio; Feldman, Daniel E.

    2013-01-01

    Rodent whisker sensation occurs both actively, as whiskers move rhythmically across objects, and in a passive mode in which externally applied deflections are sensed by static, non-moving whiskers. Passive whisker stimuli are robustly encoded in the somatosensory (S1) cortex, and provide a potentially powerful means of studying cortical processing. However, whether S1 contributes to passive sensation is debated. We developed 2 new behavioral tasks to assay passive whisker sensation in freely moving rats: Detection of unilateral whisker deflections and discrimination of right versus left whisker deflections. Stimuli were simple, simultaneous multi-whisker deflections. Local muscimol inactivation of S1 reversibly and robustly abolished sensory performance on these tasks. Thus, S1 is required for the detection and discrimination of simple stimuli by passive whiskers, in addition to its known role in active whisker sensation. PMID:22661403

  9. Expectation violation and attention to pain jointly modulate neural gain in somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Fardo, Francesca; Auksztulewicz, Ryszard; Allen, Micah; Dietz, Martin J; Roepstorff, Andreas; Friston, Karl J

    2017-03-21

    The neural processing and experience of pain are influenced by both expectations and attention. For example, the amplitude of event-related pain responses is enhanced by both novel and unexpected pain, and by moving the focus of attention towards a painful stimulus. Under predictive coding, this congruence can be explained by appeal to a precision-weighting mechanism, which mediates bottom-up and top-down attentional processes by modulating the influence of feedforward and feedback signals throughout the cortical hierarchy. The influence of expectation and attention on pain processing can be mapped onto changes in effective connectivity between or within specific neuronal populations, using a canonical microcircuit (CMC) model of hierarchical processing. We thus implemented a CMC within dynamic causal modelling for magnetoencephalography in human subjects, to investigate how expectation violation and attention to pain modulate intrinsic (within-source) and extrinsic (between-source) connectivity in the somatosensory hierarchy. This enabled us to establish whether both expectancy and attentional processes are mediated by a similar precision-encoding mechanism within a network of somatosensory, frontal and parietal sources. We found that both unexpected and attended pain modulated the gain of superficial pyramidal cells in primary and secondary somatosensory cortex. This modulation occurred in the context of increased lateralized recurrent connectivity between somatosensory and fronto-parietal sources, driven by unexpected painful occurrences. Finally, the strength of effective connectivity parameters in S1, S2 and IFG predicted individual differences in subjective pain modulation ratings. Our findings suggest that neuromodulatory gain control in the somatosensory hierarchy underlies the influence of both expectation violation and attention on cortical processing and pain perception.

  10. Effects of age on negative BOLD signal changes in the primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Gröschel, Sonja; Sohns, Jan Martin; Schmidt-Samoa, Carsten; Baudewig, Jürgen; Becker, Lars; Dechent, Peter; Kastrup, Andreas

    2013-05-01

    In addition to a contralateral activation of the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices, peripheral sensory stimulation has been shown to elicit responses in the ipsilateral primary somatosensory cortex (SI). In particular, evidence is accumulating that processes of interhemispheric inhibition as depicted by negative blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal changes are part of somatosensory processes. The aim of the study was to analyze age-related differences in patterns of cerebral activation in the somatosensory system in general and processes of interhemispheric inhibition in particular. For this, a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was performed including 14 younger (mean age 23.3±0.9years) and 13 healthy older participants (mean age 73.2±8.3years). All subjects were scanned during peripheral electrical median nerve stimulation (40Hz) to obtain BOLD responses in the somatosensory system. Moreover, the individual current perception threshold (CPT) as a quantitative measure of sensory function was determined in a separate psychophysical testing. Significant increases in BOLD signal across the entire group could be measured within the contralateral SI, in the bilateral secondary somatosensory cortex (SII), the contralateral supplementary motor area and the insula. Negative BOLD signal changes were delineated in ipsilateral SI/MI as well as in the ipsilateral thalamus and basal ganglia. After comparing the two groups, only the cortical deactivation in ipsilateral SI in the early stimulation phase as well as the activation in contralateral SI and SII in the late stimulation block remained as statistically significant differences between the two groups. The psychophysical experiments yielded a significant age-dependent effect of CPT change with less difference in the older group which is in line with the significantly smaller alterations in maximal BOLD signal change in the contra- and ipsilateral SI found between the two groups

  11. Four-dimensional maps of the human somatosensory system

    PubMed Central

    Avanzini, Pietro; Abdollahi, Rouhollah O.; Sartori, Ivana; Caruana, Fausto; Pelliccia, Veronica; Casaceli, Giuseppe; Mai, Roberto; Lo Russo, Giorgio; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Orban, Guy A.

    2016-01-01

    A fine-grained description of the spatiotemporal dynamics of human brain activity is a major goal of neuroscientific research. Limitations in spatial and temporal resolution of available noninvasive recording and imaging techniques have hindered so far the acquisition of precise, comprehensive four-dimensional maps of human neural activity. The present study combines anatomical and functional data from intracerebral recordings of nearly 100 patients, to generate highly resolved four-dimensional maps of human cortical processing of nonpainful somatosensory stimuli. These maps indicate that the human somatosensory system devoted to the hand encompasses a widespread network covering more than 10% of the cortical surface of both hemispheres. This network includes phasic components, centered on primary somatosensory cortex and neighboring motor, premotor, and inferior parietal regions, and tonic components, centered on opercular and insular areas, and involving human parietal rostroventral area and ventral medial-superior-temporal area. The technique described opens new avenues for investigating the neural basis of all levels of cortical processing in humans. PMID:26976579

  12. Chronic exposure of adult rats to low doses of methylmercury induced a state of metabolic deficit in the somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Kong, Hang-Kin; Wong, Ming-Hung; Chan, Hing-Man; Lo, Samuel Chun-Lap

    2013-11-01

    Because of the ever-increasing bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) in the marine food chain, human consumers are exposed to low doses of MeHg continually through seafood consumption. Epidemiological studies strongly suggest that chronic prenatal exposure to nanomolar of MeHg has immense negative impacts on neurological development in neonates. However, effects of chronic exposure to low doses (CELDs) of MeHg in adult brains on a molecular level are unknown. The current study aims to investigate the molecular effects of CELD of MeHg on adult somatosensory cortex in a rat model using proteomic techniques. Young adult rats were fed with a low dose of MeHg (40 μg/kg body weight/day) for a maximum of 12 weeks. Whole proteome expression of the somatosensory cortex (S1 area) of normal rats and those with CELD to MeHg were compared. Levels of MeHg, total calcium, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and pyruvate were also measured. Comparative proteomic studies of the somatosensory cortexes revealed that 94 proteins involved in the various metabolic processes (including carbohydrate metabolism, generation of precursors for essential metabolites, energy, proteins, cellular components for morphogenesis, and neurotransmission) were down-regulated. Consequently, levels of important end products of active metabolism including ATP, pyruvate, and total calcium were also found to be significantly reduced concomitantly. Our results showed that CELD of MeHg induced a state of metabolic deficit in the somatosensory cortex of adult rats.

  13. Neurodegeneration in the somatosensory cortex after experimental diffuse brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Lisembee, Amanda M.

    2012-01-01

    Disruption and consequent reorganization of central nervous system circuits following traumatic brain injury may manifest as functional deficits and behavioral morbidities. We previously reported axotomy and neuronal atrophy in the ventral basal (VB) complex of the thalamus, without gross degeneration after experimental diffuse brain injury in adult rats. Pathology in VB coincided with the development of late-onset aberrant behavioral responses to whisker stimulation, which lead to the current hypothesis that neurodegeneration after experimental diffuse brain injury includes the primary somatosensory barrel cortex (S1BF), which receives projection of VB neurons and mediates whisker somatosensation. Over 28 days after midline fluid percussion brain injury, argyrophilic reaction product within superficial layers and layer IV barrels at 1 day progresses into the cortex to subcortical white matter by 7 days, and selective inter-barrel septa and subcortical white matter labeling at 28 days. Cellular consequences were determined by stereological estimates of neuronal nuclear volumes and number. In all cortical layers, neuronal nuclear volumes significantly atrophied by 42–49% at 7 days compared to sham, which marginally attenuated by 28 days. Concomitantly, the number of healthy neurons was reduced by 34–45% at 7 days compared to sham, returning to control levels by 28 days. Progressive neurodegeneration, including argyrophilic reaction product and neuronal nuclear atrophy, indicates injury-induced damage and reorganization of the reciprocal thalamocortical projections that mediate whisker somatosensation. The rodent whisker barrel circuit may serve as a discrete model to evaluate the causes and consequences of circuit reorganization after diffuse brain injury. PMID:21597967

  14. Neuronal correlates of sensory discrimination in the somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Adrián; Zainos, Antonio; Romo, Ranulfo

    2000-01-01

    Monkeys are able to discriminate the difference in frequency between two periodic mechanical vibrations applied sequentially to the fingertips. It has been proposed that this ability is mediated by the periodicity of the responses in the quickly adapting (QA) neurons of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), instead of the average firing rates. We recorded from QA neurons of S1 while monkeys performed the vibrotactile discrimination task. We found that the periodic mechanical vibrations can be represented both in the periodicity and in the firing rate responses to varying degrees across the QA neuronal population. We then computed neurometric functions by using both the periodicity and the firing rate and sought to determine which of these two measures is associated with the psychophysical performance. We found that neurometric thresholds based on the firing rate are very similar to the animal's psychometric thresholds whereas neurometric thresholds based on periodicity are far lower than those thresholds. These results indicate that an observer could solve this task with a precision similar to that of the monkey, based only on the firing rate produced during the stimulus periods. PMID:10811922

  15. Sensory perception changes induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation over the primary somatosensory cortex in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Palomar, Francisco J; Díaz-Corrales, Francisco; Carrillo, Fatima; Fernández-del-Olmo, Miguel; Koch, Giacomo; Mir, Pablo

    2011-09-01

    Sensory symptoms are common nonmotor manifestations of Parkinson's disease. It has been hypothesized that abnormal central processing of sensory signals occurs in Parkinson's disease and is related to dopaminergic treatment. The objective of this study was to investigate the alterations in sensory perception induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation of the primary somatosensory cortex in patients with Parkinson's disease and the modulatory effects of dopaminergic treatment. Fourteen patients with Parkinson's disease with and without dopaminergic treatment and 13 control subjects were included. Twenty milliseconds after peripheral electrical tactile stimuli in the contralateral thumb, paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right primary somatosensory cortex was delivered. We evaluated the perception of peripheral electrical tactile stimuli at 2 conditioning stimulus intensities, set at 70% and 90% of the right resting motor threshold, using different interstimulus intervals. At 70% of the resting motor threshold, paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right primary somatosensory cortex induced an increase in positive responses at short interstimulus intervals (1-7 ms) in controls but not in patients with dopaminergic treatment. At 90% of the resting motor threshold, controls and patients showed similar transcranial magnetic stimulation effects. Changes in peripheral electrical tactile stimuli perception after paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation over the primary somatosensory cortex are altered in patients with Parkinson's disease with dopaminergic treatment compared with controls. These findings suggest that primary somatosensory cortex excitability could be involved in changes in somatosensory integration in Parkinson's disease with dopaminergic treatment.

  16. Regional hypoplasia of somatosensory cortex in growth-retarded mice (grt/grt).

    PubMed

    Sawada, Kazuhiko; Saito, Shigeyoshi; Sugasawa, Akari; Sato, Chika; Aoyama, Junya; Ohara, Naoko; Horiuchi-Hirose, Miwa; Kobayashi, Tetsuya

    2016-07-01

    Growth-retarded mouse (grt/grt) is a spontaneous mutant that is known as an animal model for primary congenital hypothyroidism caused by resistance to TSH signaling. The regional pattern of cerebral cortical hypoplasia was characterized in grt/grt mice. Ex vivo computed tomography (CT)-based volumetry was examined in four regions of the cerebral cortex, i.e., prefrontal, frontal, parietal and occipito-temporal regions, which were demarcated by structural landmarks on coronal CT images. A region-specific reduced volume of the parietal cortical region covering most of the somatosensory cortex was noted in grt/grt mice rather than in both heterozygous (grt/+) and wild-type (+/+) mice. We concluded that the cortical hypoplasia in grt/grt was seen in identical cortical regions corresponding to human congenital hypothyroidism.

  17. MEG reveals a fast pathway from somatosensory cortex to occipital areas via posterior parietal cortex in a blind subject.

    PubMed

    Ioannides, Andreas A; Liu, Lichan; Poghosyan, Vahe; Saridis, George A; Gjedde, Albert; Ptito, Maurice; Kupers, Ron

    2013-01-01

    Cross-modal activity in visual cortex of blind subjects has been reported during performance of variety of non-visual tasks. A key unanswered question is through which pathways non-visual inputs are funneled to the visual cortex. Here we used tomographic analysis of single trial magnetoencephalography (MEG) data recorded from one congenitally blind and two sighted subjects after stimulation of the left and right median nerves at three intensities: below sensory threshold, above sensory threshold and above motor threshold; the last sufficient to produce thumb twitching. We identified reproducible brain responses in the primary somatosensory (S1) and motor (M1) cortices at around 20 ms post-stimulus, which were very similar in sighted and blind subjects. Time-frequency analysis revealed strong 45-70 Hz activity at latencies of 20-50 ms in S1 and M1, and posterior parietal cortex Brodmann areas (BA) 7 and 40, which compared to lower frequencies, were substantially more pronounced in the blind than the sighted subjects. Critically, at frequencies from α-band up to 100 Hz we found clear, strong, and widespread responses in the visual cortex of the blind subject, which increased with the intensity of the somatosensory stimuli. Time-delayed mutual information (MI) revealed that in blind subject the stimulus information is funneled from the early somatosensory to visual cortex through posterior parietal BA 7 and 40, projecting first to visual areas V5 and V3, and eventually V1. The flow of information through this pathway occurred in stages characterized by convergence of activations into specific cortical regions. In sighted subjects, no linked activity was found that led from the somatosensory to the visual cortex through any of the studied brain regions. These results provide the first evidence from MEG that in blind subjects, tactile information is routed from primary somatosensory to occipital cortex via the posterior parietal cortex.

  18. Subplate neurons promote spindle bursts and thalamocortical patterning in the neonatal rat somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Tolner, Else A.; Sheikh, Aminah; Yukin, Alexey Y.; Kaila, Kai; Kanold, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Patterned neuronal activity such as spindle bursts in the neonatal cortex is likely to promote the maturation of cortical synapses and neuronal circuits. Previous work on cats has shown that removal of subplate neurons, a transient neuronal population in the immature cortex, prevents the functional maturation of thalamocortical and intracortical connectivity. Here we studied the effect of subplate removal in the neonatal rat somatosensory cortex (S1). Using intracortical EEG we show that after selective removal of subplate neurons in the limb region of S1, endogenous and sensory evoked spindle burst activity is largely abolished. Consistent with the reduced in vivo activity in the S1 limb region, we find by in vitro recordings that thalamocortical inputs to layer 4 neurons are weak. In addition, we find that removal of subplate neurons in the S1 barrel region prevents the development of the characteristic histological barrel-like appearance. Thus, subplate neurons are crucially involved in the generation of particular types of early network activity in the neonatal cortex, which are an important feature of cortical development. The altered EEG pattern following subplate damage could be applicable in the neurological assessment of human neonates. PMID:22238105

  19. Functional and structural plasticity in the primary somatosensory cortex associated with chronic pain.

    PubMed

    Kim, Woojin; Kim, Sun Kwang; Nabekura, Junichi

    2017-03-09

    Tissue or nerve injury induces widespread plastic changes from the periphery and spinal cord up to the cortex, resulting in chronic pain. Although many clinicians and researchers have extensively studied altered nociceptive signaling and neural circuit plasticity at the spinal cord level, effective treatments to ameliorate chronic pain are still insufficient. For about the last two decades, the rapid development in macroscopic brain imaging studies on humans and animal models have revealed maladaptive plastic changes in the 'pain matrix' brain regions, which may subsequently contribute to chronic pain. Among these brain regions, our group has concentrated for many years on the primary somatosensory (S1) cortex with a help of advanced imaging techniques and has found the functional and structural changes in neurons/glia as well as individual synapses in the S1 cortex during chronic pain. Taken together, it is now believed that such S1 plasticity is one of the causes for chronic pain, not a simple and passive epiphenomenon following tissue/nerve injury as previously thought. In this small review, we discuss the relation of plasticity in the S1 cortex with chronic pain, based on clinical trials and experimental studies conducted on this field. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  20. Beyond the Peak – Tactile Temporal Discrimination Does Not Correlate with Individual Peak Frequencies in Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Baumgarten, Thomas J.; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim

    2017-01-01

    The human sensory systems constantly receive input from different stimuli. Whether these stimuli are integrated into a coherent percept or segregated and perceived as separate events, is critically determined by the temporal distance of the stimuli. This temporal distance has prompted the concept of temporal integration windows or perceptual cycles. Although this concept has gained considerable support, the neuronal correlates are still discussed. Studies suggested that neuronal oscillations might provide a neuronal basis for such perceptual cycles, i.e., the cycle lengths of alpha oscillations in visual cortex and beta oscillations in somatosensory cortex might determine the length of perceptual cycles. Specifically, recent studies reported that the peak frequency (the frequency with the highest spectral power) of alpha oscillations in visual cortex correlates with subjects’ ability to discriminate two visual stimuli. In the present study, we investigated whether peak frequencies in somatosensory cortex might serve as the correlate of perceptual cycles in tactile discrimination. Despite several different approaches, we were unable to find a significant correlation between individual peak frequencies in the alpha- and beta-band and individual discrimination abilities. In addition, analysis of Bayes factor provided evidence that peak frequencies and discrimination thresholds are unrelated. The results suggest that perceptual cycles in the somatosensory domain are not necessarily to be found in the peak frequency, but in other frequencies. We argue that studies based solely on analysis of peak frequencies might thus miss relevant information. PMID:28382013

  1. Cortex mapping of ipsilateral somatosensory area following anatomical hemispherectomy: a MEG study.

    PubMed

    Yao, Ning; Qiao, Hui; Shu, Ning; Wang, Zide; Chen, Daxing; Wu, Liang; Deng, Xiaofeng; Xu, Yulun

    2013-04-01

    A remarkable preservation of sensorimotor function is observed in patients with refractory epilepsy who were treated by hemispherectomy. Cortical regions in the remaining hemisphere or contralateral subcortical region contribute to the residual sensorimotor function. Somatosensory evoked field (SEF) is used to investigate the residual sensory function in hemispherectomized patients. The SEFs are usually recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG). The objective is to investigate the ipsilateral cortical regions associated with residual sensory function in hemispherectomized patients using somatosensory evoked field techniques. Six patients with anatomical hemispherectomy were included. Ipsilateral and contralateral sensory functions were assessed by physical examination. Somatosensory evoked fields to electrical stimulation of the bilateral median nerves were recorded by MEG in the hemispherectomized patients and six control subjects. The stimulus intensity was adjusted to the minimum threshold that elicited a thumb twitch. The presumed neuronal source was identified as the equivalent current dipole. Six patients demonstrated different degrees of residual sensory function. Three patients had somatosensory evoked field activation in the ipsilateral cortex upon electrical stimulation of the hemiplegic hand. In these patients the locations of the ipsilateral sensorimotor cortex activation were in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). The latency of the reliable somatosensory evoked field after stimulation of the median nerve was significantly longer for responses from the hemiplegic side compared with responses to stimulation of the median nerve from the normal side. In conclusion, ipsilateral sensory function has a time-locked relation to the cortical electromagnetic activation in the SI area of hemispherectomized patients.

  2. Distinct vestibular effects on early and late somatosensory cortical processing in humans.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, Christian; van Elk, Michiel; Bernasconi, Fosco; Blanke, Olaf

    2016-01-15

    In non-human primates several brain areas contain neurons that respond to both vestibular and somatosensory stimulation. In humans, vestibular stimulation activates several somatosensory brain regions and improves tactile perception. However, less is known about the spatio-temporal dynamics of such vestibular-somatosensory interactions in the human brain. To address this issue, we recorded high-density electroencephalography during left median nerve electrical stimulation to obtain Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SEPs). We analyzed SEPs during vestibular activation following sudden decelerations from constant-velocity (90°/s and 60°/s) earth-vertical axis yaw rotations and SEPs during a non-vestibular control period. SEP analysis revealed two distinct temporal effects of vestibular activation: An early effect (28-32ms post-stimulus) characterized by vestibular suppression of SEP response strength that depended on rotation velocity and a later effect (97-112ms post-stimulus) characterized by vestibular modulation of SEP topographical pattern that was rotation velocity-independent. Source estimation localized these vestibular effects, during both time periods, to activation differences in a distributed cortical network including the right postcentral gyrus, right insula, left precuneus, and bilateral secondary somatosensory cortex. These results suggest that vestibular-somatosensory interactions in humans depend on processing in specific time periods in somatosensory and vestibular cortical regions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Beta 2-adrenergic receptors are colocalized and coregulated with whisker barrels in rat somatosensory cortex

    SciTech Connect

    Vos, P.; Kaufmann, D.; Hand, P.J.; Wolfe, B.B. )

    1990-07-01

    Autoradiography has been used to visualize independently the subtypes of beta-adrenergic receptors in rat somatosensory cortex. Beta 2-adrenergic receptors, but not beta 1-adrenergic receptors colocalize with whisker barrels in this tissue. Thus, each whisker sends a specific multisynaptic pathway to the somatosensory cortex that can be histochemically visualized and only one subtype of beta-adrenergic receptor is specifically associated with this cortical representation. Additionally, neonatal lesion of any or all of the whisker follicles results in loss of the corresponding barrel(s) as shown by histochemical markers. This loss is paralleled by a similar loss in the organization of beta 2-adrenergic receptors in the somatosensory cortex. Other results indicate that these beta 2-adrenergic receptors are not involved in moment-to-moment signal transmission in this pathway and, additionally, are not involved in a gross way in the development of whisker-barrel array.

  4. Quality discrimination for noxious stimuli in secondary somatosensory cortex: a MEG-study.

    PubMed

    Maihöfner, Christian; Kaltenhäuser, Martin

    2009-11-01

    A complex cortical network is believed to encode the multi-dimensionality of the human pain experience. In the present study, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine whether the cortical processing of noxious stimuli with different psychophysical properties differs in primary (S1) and secondary (S2) somatosensory cortices. Noxious low (condition 1) and high (condition 2) current density stimulations of equal stimulus intensities were applied at the left forearm in 12 subjects in a randomised order. Concomitantly, subjects had to evaluate the corresponding sensory-discriminative and affective-motivational pain dimensions. MEG revealed an increased activation of bilateral secondary somatosensory cortices (S2) during condition 2 compared to condition 1. Higher activations of bilateral S2 were significantly correlated with higher scores for the sensory-discriminative component during condition 2. In contrast, corresponding scores for the affective-motivational pain dimension did not differ between both conditions. Therefore, concerning the sensory dimension of the human pain experience we conclude that the S2 cortex is involved in the encoding of quality discrimination.

  5. Anatomical and functional properties of the foot and leg representation in areas 3b, 1 and 2 of primary somatosensory cortex in humans: A 7T fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Akselrod, Michel; Martuzzi, Roberto; Serino, Andrea; van der Zwaag, Wietske; Gassert, Roger; Blanke, Olaf

    2017-06-17

    Primary somatosensory cortex (S1) processes somatosensory information and is composed of multiple subregions. In particular, tactile information from the skin is encoded in three subregions, namely Brodmann areas (BAs) 3b, 1 and 2, with each area representing a complete map of the contralateral body. Although, much is known about the somatotopic organization of the hand in human S1, less research has been carried out regarding the somatotopic maps of the foot and leg in S1. Moreover, a latero-medial S1 organization along the superior part of the postcentral gyrus has been reported when moving from hip to toes, yet to date there is no study investigating leg/foot maps within the different subregions of S1. Using ultra-high field MRI (7T), we mapped six cortical representations of the lower limb (hip to toes) at the single subject level and performed this analysis separately for BAs 3b, 1 and 2. Analyzing the BOLD responses associated with tactile stimulations of the mapped foot and leg regions on each side, we quantified the extent and the strength of activation to determine somatotopic organization. In addition, we investigated whether each mapped representation also responded to the stimulation of other body parts (i.e. response selectivity) and conducted dissimilarity analysis relating these anatomical and functional properties of S1 to the physical structure of the lower limbs. Our data reveal somatotopy for the leg, but not for the foot in all investigated BAs, with large inter-subject variability. We found only minor differences between the properties of the three investigated BAs, suggesting that S1 maps for the lower limbs differ from those described for the hand. We also describe greater extent/strength of S1 activation for the big toe representation (compared to the other mapped representations) within all BAs, suggesting a possible homology between the first digit of upper and lower extremity in humans, and report different patterns of selectivity in the

  6. Evidence for a frontal cortex role in both auditory and somatosensory habituation: A MEG study

    PubMed Central

    Weiland, Barbara J.; Boutros, Nash N.; Moran, John M.; Tepley, Norman; Bowyer, Susan M.

    2008-01-01

    Auditory and somatosensory responses to paired stimuli were investigated for commonality of frontal activation that may be associated with gating using magnetoencephalography (MEG). A paired stimulus paradigm for each sensory evoked study tested right and left hemispheres independently in ten normal controls. MR-FOCUSS, a current density technique, imaged simultaneously active cortical sources. Each subject showed source localization, in the primary auditory or somatosensory cortex, for the respective stimuli following both the first (S1) and second (S2) impulses. Gating ratios for the auditory M50 response, equivalent to the P50 in EEG, were 0.54 ± 0.24 and 0.63 ± 0.52 for the right and left hemispheres. Somatosensory gating ratios were evaluated for early and late latencies as the pulse duration elicits extended response. Early gating ratios for right and left hemispheres were 0.69 ± 0.21 and 0.69 ± 0.41 while late ratios were 0.81 ± 0.41 and 0.80 ± 0.48. Regions of activation in the frontal cortex, beyond the primary auditory or somatosensory cortex, were mapped within 25 ms of peak S1 latencies in 9/10 subjects during auditory stimulus and in 10/10 subjects for somatosensory stimulus. Similar frontal activations were mapped within 25 ms of peak S2 latencies for 75% of auditory responses and for 100% of somatosensory responses. Comparison between modalities showed similar frontal region activations for 17/20 S1 responses and for 13/20 S2 responses. MEG offers a technique for evaluating cross modality gating. The results suggest similar frontal sources are simultaneously active during auditory and somatosensory habituation. PMID:18602839

  7. Multiple Representations of Pain in Human Cerebral Cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talbot, Jeanne D.; Marrett, Sean; Evans, Alan C.; Meyer, Ernst; Bushnell, M. Catherine; Duncan, Gary H.

    1991-03-01

    The representation of pain in the cerebral cortex is less well understood than that of any other sensory system. However, with the use of magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography in humans, it has now been demonstrated that painful heat causes significant activation of the contralateral anterior cingulate, secondary somatosensory, and primary somatosensory cortices. This contrasts with the predominant activation of primary somatosensory cortex caused by vibrotactile stimuli in similar experiments. Furthermore, the unilateral cingulate activation indicates that this forebrain area, thought to regulate emotions, contains an unexpectedly specific representation of pain.

  8. A mutant with bilateral whisker to barrel inputs unveils somatosensory mapping rules in the cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Renier, Nicolas; Dominici, Chloe; Erzurumlu, Reha S; Kratochwil, Claudius F; Rijli, Filippo M; Gaspar, Patricia; Chédotal, Alain

    2017-03-28

    In mammals, tactile information is mapped topographically onto the contralateral side of the brain in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Here we describe that in Robo3 mouse mutants a sizeable fraction of the trigemino-thalamic inputs project ipsilaterally rather than contralaterally. The resulting mixture of crossed and uncrossed sensory inputs creates bilateral whisker maps in the thalamus and cortex. Surprisingly, these maps are segregated resulting in a duplication of whisker representations and a doubling of the number of barrels without changes of the S1 size. Sensory deprivation shows competitive interactions between the ipsi/contralateral whisker maps. This study reveals that the somatosensory system can form a somatotopic map to integrate bilateral sensory inputs but organizes the maps in a different way than in the visual, or auditory systems. Therefore, while the molecular pre-patterning constrains their orientation and position, the preservation of the continuity of inputs defines the layout of the somatosensory maps.

  9. Realistic models of apparent dynamic changes in resting-state connectivity in somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Shi, Zhaoyue; Rogers, Baxter P; Chen, Li Min; Morgan, Victoria L; Mishra, Arabinda; Wilkes, Don M; Gore, John C

    2016-11-01

    Variations over time in resting-state correlations in blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals from different cortical areas may indicate changes in brain functional connectivity. However, apparent variations over time may also arise from stationary signals when the sample duration is finite. Recently, a vector autoregressive (VAR) null model has been proposed to simulate real functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data, which provides a robust stationary model for identifying possible temporal dynamic changes in functional connectivity. In this work, we propose a simpler model that uses a filtered stationary dataset. The filtered stationary model generates statistically stationary time series from random data with a single prescribed correlation coefficient that is calculated as the average over the entire time series. In addition, we propose a dynamic model, which is better able to replicate real fMRI connectivity, estimated from monkey brain studies, than the two stationary models. We compare simulated results using these three models with the behavior of primary somatosensory cortex (S1) networks in anesthetized squirrel monkeys at high field (9.4 T), using a sliding window correlation analysis. We found that at short window sizes, both stationary models reproduced the distribution of correlations of real signals well, but at longer window sizes, a dynamic model reproduced the distribution of correlations of real signals better than the stationary models. While stationary models replicate several features of real data, a close representation of the behavior of resting-state data acquired from somatosensory cortex of non-human primates is obtained only when a dynamic correlation is introduced, suggesting dynamic variations in connectivity are real. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3897-3910, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Functional assays of local connectivity in the somatosensory cortex of individuals with autism.

    PubMed

    Coskun, Mehmet Akif; Loveland, Katherine A; Pearson, Deborah A; Papanicolaou, Andrew C; Sheth, Bhavin R

    2013-06-01

    Emerging evidence for differences between individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and neurotypical (NT) individuals in somatic processing and brain response to touch suggests somatosensory cortex as a promising substrate for elucidating differences in functional brain connectivity between individuals with and without autism. Signals from adjacent digits project to neighboring locations or representations in somatosensory cortex. When a digit is stimulated, i.e. touched, its representation in cortex is directly activated; local intracortical connections indirectly activate nonprimary cortical representations corresponding to adjacent digits. The response of the nonprimary cortical representations is thus a proxy for connection strength. Local overconnectivity in autism implies that the nonprimary/primary response ratios of the ASD group will be higher than those of the NT group. D1 and D2 of the dominant hand of the participant were individually stimulated while we recorded neural responses using magnetoencephalography. The cortical representations of D1 and D2 (somatosensory-evoked fields) were computed from the ensemble-averaged data using (a) dipole model fits and (b) singular value decomposition. Individual adjacent/primary response ratios were measured, and group response ratio data were fitted with straight lines. Local overconnectivity in autism implies steeper ASD vs. NT group slopes. Our findings did not support local overconnectivity. Slopes were found to be significantly shallower for the ASD group than the NT group. Our findings support the idea of local underconnectivity in the somatosensory cortex of the brains of individuals with ASD.

  11. Contralateral somatosensory neglect in unrestrained rats after lesion of the parietal cortex of the left hemisphere.

    PubMed

    Holm, S; Mogensen, J

    1993-01-01

    Three groups of rats were studied: a sham operated control group and two groups in which the parietal "association" cortex had been ablated in the left and right hemispheres respectively. Twenty-four hours and 8 days postoperatively the animals were subjected to a test in which their responsiveness to lateralized somatosensory stimuli was measured while the rats were left unrestrained. Additionally, an activity cage locomotion test followed immediately upon both tests of somatosensory responsiveness. Twenty-four hours postoperatively the animals in which the parietal cortex of the left hemisphere had been ablated demonstrated a significant contralateral neglect of somatosensory stimuli while the group in which the right parietal cortex had been ablated only exhibited a non-significant tendency to a contralateral neglect. While the activity cage test did not reveal an overall difference in the activity level of the three groups the latency to initiate locomotion in the activity cage was found to be significantly decreased in both ablated groups. Eight days postoperatively both ablated groups appeared fully recovered. It is concluded that ablations of the parietal "association" cortex of the rat are associated with a syndrome of contralateral somatosensory neglect that can even be demonstrated if the animals are left unrestrained during testing.

  12. Metaphorically Feeling: Comprehending Textural Metaphors Activates Somatosensory Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lacey, Simon; Stilla, Randall; Sathian, K.

    2012-01-01

    Conceptual metaphor theory suggests that knowledge is structured around metaphorical mappings derived from physical experience. Segregated processing of object properties in sensory cortex allows testing of the hypothesis that metaphor processing recruits activity in domain-specific sensory cortex. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging…

  13. Metaphorically Feeling: Comprehending Textural Metaphors Activates Somatosensory Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lacey, Simon; Stilla, Randall; Sathian, K.

    2012-01-01

    Conceptual metaphor theory suggests that knowledge is structured around metaphorical mappings derived from physical experience. Segregated processing of object properties in sensory cortex allows testing of the hypothesis that metaphor processing recruits activity in domain-specific sensory cortex. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging…

  14. Interhemispheric modulation of sensory transmission in the primary somatosensory cortex of rats.

    PubMed

    Shin, H C; Won, C K; Jung, S C; Oh, S; Park, S; Sohn, J H

    1997-07-18

    Single unit responses of the primary somatosensory (SI) cortical neurons to the stimulation of the forepaw single digit were monitored in anesthetized rats before and after subcutaneous injection of lidocaine to an ipsilateral homologous receptive field (IHRF). Quantitative determination of the temporal changes of afferent sensory transmission was done by analyzing poststimulus time histograms of unit responses. Temporary deafferentation to the IHRF induced immediate, but reversible suppression of afferent sensory transmission in the SI cortex and this suppression lasts up to 35 min post-deafferentation period (during 10-15 min, -21.81 +/- 5.9%, P < 0.01). This result suggests that temporary absence of afferent inflow from the digit to the SI cortex may exert interhemispheric modulation of afferent sensory transmission in the opposite somatosensory cortex of anesthetized rats.

  15. Functional connectivity for somatosensory and motor cortex in spastic diplegia

    PubMed Central

    Burton, Harold; Dixit, Sachin; Litkowski, Patricia; Wingert, Jason R.

    2009-01-01

    Functional connectivity (fcMRI) was analyzed in individuals with spastic diplegia and age-matched controls. Pearson correlations (r-values) were computed between resting state spontaneous activity in selected seed regions (sROI) and each voxel throughout the brain. Seed ROI were centered on foci activated by tactile stimulation of the second fingertip in somatosensory and parietal dorsal attention regions. The group with diplegia showed significantly expanded networks for the somatomotor but not dorsal attention areas. These expanded networks overran nearly all topological representations in somatosensory and motor areas despite a sROI in a fingertip focus. A possible underlying cause for altered fcMRI in the group with dipegia, and generally sensorimotor deficits in spastic diplegia, is that prenatal third trimester white-matter injury leads to localized damage to subplate neurons. We hypothesize that intracortical connections become dominant in spastic diplegia through successful competition with diminished or absent thalamocortical inputs. Similar to the effects of subplate ablations on ocular dominance columns (Kanold and Shatz, Neuron 2006;51:627–638), a spike timing-dependent plasticity model is proposed to explain a shift towards intracortical inputs. PMID:20047510

  16. Functional connectivity for somatosensory and motor cortex in spastic diplegia.

    PubMed

    Burton, Harold; Dixit, Sachin; Litkowski, Patricia; Wingert, Jason R

    2009-12-01

    Functional connectivity (fcMRI) was analyzed in individuals with spastic diplegia and age-matched controls. Pearson correlations (r-values) were computed between resting state spontaneous activity in selected seed regions (sROI) and each voxel throughout the brain. Seed ROI were centered on foci activated by tactile stimulation of the second fingertip in somatosensory and parietal dorsal attention regions. The group with diplegia showed significantly expanded networks for the somatomotor but not dorsal attention areas. These expanded networks overran nearly all topological representations in somatosensory and motor areas despite a sROI in a fingertip focus. A possible underlying cause for altered fcMRI in the group with dipegia, and generally sensorimotor deficits in spastic diplegia, is that prenatal third trimester white-matter injury leads to localized damage to subplate neurons. We hypothesize that intracortical connections become dominant in spastic diplegia through successful competition with diminished or absent thalamocortical inputs. Similar to the effects of subplate ablations on ocular dominance columns (Kanold and Shatz, Neuron 2006;51:627-638), a spike timing-dependent plasticity model is proposed to explain a shift towards intracortical inputs.

  17. Cross-sectional imaging of functional activation in the rat somatosensory cortex with optical coherence tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aguirre, A. D.; Chen, Y.; Ruvinskaya, L.; Devor, A.; Boas, D. A.; Fujimoto, J. G.

    2005-08-01

    Simultaneous optical coherence tomography (OCT) and video microscopy were performed on the rat somatosensory cortex through a thinned skull during forepaw stimulation. Fractional change measurements in OCT images reveal a functional signal timecourse similar to well understood hemodynamic signal timecourses measured with video microscopy. The precise etiology of the observed OCT functional signal is still under investigation, but these results suggest that OCT can provide high-resolution cross-sectional images of functional neuro-vascular activation.

  18. Somatosensory brainstem, thalamus, and cortex of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus).

    PubMed

    Sawyer, Eva K; Turner, Emily C; Kaas, Jon H

    2016-06-15

    Pinnipeds (sea lions, seals, and walruses) are notable for many reasons, including their ape-sized brains, their adaptation to a coastal niche that combines mastery of the sea with strong ties to land, and the remarkable abilities of their trigeminal whisker system. However, little is known about the central nervous system of pinnipeds. Here we report on the somatosensory areas of the nervous system of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). Using stains for Nissl, cytochrome oxidase, and vesicular glutamate transporters, we investigated the primary somatosensory areas in the brainstem, thalamus, and cortex in one sea lion pup and the external anatomy of the brain in a second pup. We find that the sea lion's impressive array of whiskers is matched by a large trigeminal representation in the brainstem with well-defined parcellation that resembles the barrelettes found in rodents but scaled upward in size. The dorsal column nuclei are large and distinct. The ventral posterior nucleus of the thalamus has divisions, with a large area for the presumptive head representation. Primary somatosensory cortex is located in the neocortex just anterior to the main vertical fissure, and precisely locating it as we do here is useful for comparing the highly gyrified pinniped cortex with that of other carnivores. To our knowledge this work is the first comprehensive report on the central nervous system areas for any sensory system in a pinniped. The results may be useful both in the veterinary setting and for comparative studies related to brain evolution.

  19. Pre-stimulus alpha oscillations over somatosensory cortex predict tactile misperceptions.

    PubMed

    Craddock, Matt; Poliakoff, Ellen; El-Deredy, Wael; Klepousniotou, Ekaterini; Lloyd, Donna M

    2017-02-01

    Fluctuations of pre-stimulus oscillatory activity in the somatosensory alpha band (8-14Hz) observed using human EEG and MEG have been shown to influence the detection of supra- and peri-threshold somatosensory stimuli. However, some reports of touch occur even without a stimulus. We investigated the possibility that pre-stimulus alpha oscillations might also influence these false reports of touch - known as tactile misperceptions. We recorded EEG while participants performed the Somatic Signal Detection Task (SSDT), in which participants must detect brief, peri-threshold somatosensory targets. We found that pre-stimulus oscillatory power in the somatosensory alpha range exhibited a negative linear relationship with reporting of touch at electrode clusters over both contralateral and ipsilateral somatosensory regions. As pre-stimulus alpha power increased, the probability of reporting a touch declined; as it decreased, the probability of reporting a touch increased. This relationship was stronger on trials without a somatosensory stimulus than on trials with a somatosensory stimulus, although was present for both trial types. Spatio-temporal cluster-based permutation analysis also found that pre-stimulus alpha was lower on trials when touch was reported - irrespective of whether it was present - over contralateral and ipsilateral somatosensory cortices, as well as left frontocentral areas. We argue that alpha power may reflect changes in response criterion rather than sensitivity alone. Low alpha power relates to a low barrier to reporting a touch even when one is not present, while high alpha power is linked to less frequent reporting of touch overall.

  20. Abnormal activation of the primary somatosensory cortex in spasmodic dysphonia: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Simonyan, Kristina; Ludlow, Christy L

    2010-11-01

    Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a task-specific focal dystonia of unknown pathophysiology, characterized by involuntary spasms in the laryngeal muscles during speaking. Our aim was to identify symptom-specific functional brain activation abnormalities in adductor spasmodic dysphonia (ADSD) and abductor spasmodic dysphonia (ABSD). Both SD groups showed increased activation extent in the primary sensorimotor cortex, insula, and superior temporal gyrus during symptomatic and asymptomatic tasks and decreased activation extent in the basal ganglia, thalamus, and cerebellum during asymptomatic tasks. Increased activation intensity in SD patients was found only in the primary somatosensory cortex during symptomatic voice production, which showed a tendency for correlation with ADSD symptoms. Both SD groups had lower correlation of activation intensities between the primary motor and sensory cortices and additional correlations between the basal ganglia, thalamus, and cerebellum during symptomatic and asymptomatic tasks. Compared with ADSD patients, ABSD patients had larger activation extent in the primary sensorimotor cortex and ventral thalamus during symptomatic task and in the inferior temporal cortex and cerebellum during symptomatic and asymptomatic voice production. The primary somatosensory cortex shows consistent abnormalities in activation extent, intensity, correlation with other brain regions, and symptom severity in SD patients and, therefore, may be involved in the pathophysiology of SD.

  1. Effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on the somatosensory cortex during prism adaptation.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Hee-Chul; Lee, Kyung-Hyun; Huh, Dong-Chan; Lee, Ji-Hang; Lee, Dong-Hyun

    2014-04-01

    Although the behavioral characteristics and the neural correlates of prism adaptation processes have been studied extensively, the underlying mechanism is yet to be investigated. Recently, somatosensory suppression was heralded as a mechanism for the sensory re-alignment process accompanying the adaptation. Somatosensory suppression should facilitate the re-alignment process in the proprioceptive system. The shift in the proprioceptive system takes place mostly during a concurrent visual feedback (CVF) condition; during a terminal visual feedback (TVF) condition, the visual system experiences significant adaptation (visual shift), so somatosensory suppression should have minimal functional consequences under TVF. To test this hypothesis, a repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was applied to the primary somatosensory cortex as an artificial somatosensory suppression right after the reaching initiation in CVF and TVF conditions, and changes in adaptation were observed. Because somatosensory suppression is already in effect during CVF, rTMS would cause no significant changes. During TVF with rTMS, however, significantly different patterns of adaptation could be expected when compared to a sham rTMS condition. Young adults (N = 12) participated in 4 sessions (CVF/ TVF, real/sham rTMS); visual proprioceptive, and total shifts were measured. Movement time and curvature of the reaching movement were measured during the adaptation phase. Results showed that while the total shift was unchanged, the proprioceptive shift increased and the visual shift decreased in the TVF condition when rTMS was delivered. However, the total, proprioceptive, and visual shifts were not influenced by rTMS in the CVF condition. Suppression of proprioception induced by the rTMS could be one of the requisites for successful proprioceptive shift during prism adaptation.

  2. Functional deficits in carpal tunnel syndrome reflect reorganization of primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Yumi; Kettner, Norman; Holden, Jameson; Lee, Jeungchan; Kim, Jieun; Cina, Stephen; Malatesta, Cristina; Gerber, Jessica; McManus, Claire; Im, Jaehyun; Libby, Alexandra; Mezzacappa, Pia; Morse, Leslie R; Park, Kyungmo; Audette, Joseph; Tommerdahl, Mark; Napadow, Vitaly

    2014-06-01

    Carpal tunnel syndrome, a median nerve entrapment neuropathy, is characterized by sensorimotor deficits. Recent reports have shown that this syndrome is also characterized by functional and structural neuroplasticity in the primary somatosensory cortex of the brain. However, the linkage between this neuroplasticity and the functional deficits in carpal tunnel syndrome is unknown. Sixty-three subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome aged 20-60 years and 28 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were evaluated with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T while vibrotactile stimulation was delivered to median nerve innervated (second and third) and ulnar nerve innervated (fifth) digits. For each subject, the interdigit cortical separation distance for each digit's contralateral primary somatosensory cortex representation was assessed. We also evaluated fine motor skill performance using a previously validated psychomotor performance test (maximum voluntary contraction and visuomotor pinch/release testing) and tactile discrimination capacity using a four-finger forced choice response test. These biobehavioural and clinical metrics were evaluated and correlated with the second/third interdigit cortical separation distance. Compared with healthy control subjects, subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome demonstrated reduced second/third interdigit cortical separation distance (P < 0.05) in contralateral primary somatosensory cortex, corroborating our previous preliminary multi-modal neuroimaging findings. For psychomotor performance testing, subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome demonstrated reduced maximum voluntary contraction pinch strength (P < 0.01) and a reduced number of pinch/release cycles per second (P < 0.05). Additionally, for four-finger forced-choice testing, subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome demonstrated greater response time (P < 0.05), and reduced sensory discrimination accuracy (P < 0.001) for median nerve, but not ulnar nerve

  3. Functional deficits in carpal tunnel syndrome reflect reorganization of primary somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kettner, Norman; Holden, Jameson; Lee, Jeungchan; Kim, Jieun; Cina, Stephen; Malatesta, Cristina; Gerber, Jessica; McManus, Claire; Im, Jaehyun; Libby, Alexandra; Mezzacappa, Pia; Morse, Leslie R.; Park, Kyungmo; Audette, Joseph; Tommerdahl, Mark; Napadow, Vitaly

    2014-01-01

    Carpal tunnel syndrome, a median nerve entrapment neuropathy, is characterized by sensorimotor deficits. Recent reports have shown that this syndrome is also characterized by functional and structural neuroplasticity in the primary somatosensory cortex of the brain. However, the linkage between this neuroplasticity and the functional deficits in carpal tunnel syndrome is unknown. Sixty-three subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome aged 20–60 years and 28 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were evaluated with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T while vibrotactile stimulation was delivered to median nerve innervated (second and third) and ulnar nerve innervated (fifth) digits. For each subject, the interdigit cortical separation distance for each digit’s contralateral primary somatosensory cortex representation was assessed. We also evaluated fine motor skill performance using a previously validated psychomotor performance test (maximum voluntary contraction and visuomotor pinch/release testing) and tactile discrimination capacity using a four-finger forced choice response test. These biobehavioural and clinical metrics were evaluated and correlated with the second/third interdigit cortical separation distance. Compared with healthy control subjects, subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome demonstrated reduced second/third interdigit cortical separation distance (P < 0.05) in contralateral primary somatosensory cortex, corroborating our previous preliminary multi-modal neuroimaging findings. For psychomotor performance testing, subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome demonstrated reduced maximum voluntary contraction pinch strength (P < 0.01) and a reduced number of pinch/release cycles per second (P < 0.05). Additionally, for four-finger forced-choice testing, subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome demonstrated greater response time (P < 0.05), and reduced sensory discrimination accuracy (P < 0.001) for median nerve, but not ulnar nerve

  4. Rewiring the primary somatosensory cortex in carpal tunnel syndrome with acupuncture.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Yumi; Kim, Hyungjun; Kettner, Norman; Kim, Jieun; Cina, Stephen; Malatesta, Cristina; Gerber, Jessica; McManus, Claire; Ong-Sutherland, Rebecca; Mezzacappa, Pia; Libby, Alexandra; Mawla, Ishtiaq; Morse, Leslie R; Kaptchuk, Ted J; Audette, Joseph; Napadow, Vitaly

    2017-03-02

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common entrapment neuropathy, affecting the median nerve at the wrist. Acupuncture is a minimally-invasive and conservative therapeutic option, and while rooted in a complex practice ritual, acupuncture overlaps significantly with many conventional peripherally-focused neuromodulatory therapies. However, the neurophysiological mechanisms by which acupuncture impacts accepted subjective/psychological and objective/physiological outcomes are not well understood. Eligible patients (n = 80, 65 female, age: 49.3 ± 8.6 years) were enrolled and randomized into three intervention arms: (i) verum electro-acupuncture 'local' to the more affected hand; (ii) verum electro-acupuncture at 'distal' body sites, near the ankle contralesional to the more affected hand; and (iii) local sham electro-acupuncture using non-penetrating placebo needles. Acupuncture therapy was provided for 16 sessions over 8 weeks. Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire assessed pain and paraesthesia symptoms at baseline, following therapy and at 3-month follow-up. Nerve conduction studies assessing median nerve sensory latency and brain imaging data were acquired at baseline and following therapy. Functional magnetic resonance imaging assessed somatotopy in the primary somatosensory cortex using vibrotactile stimulation over three digits (2, 3 and 5). While all three acupuncture interventions reduced symptom severity, verum (local and distal) acupuncture was superior to sham in producing improvements in neurophysiological outcomes, both local to the wrist (i.e. median sensory nerve conduction latency) and in the brain (i.e. digit 2/3 cortical separation distance). Moreover, greater improvement in second/third interdigit cortical separation distance following verum acupuncture predicted sustained improvements in symptom severity at 3-month follow-up. We further explored potential differential mechanisms of local versus distal acupuncture using diffusion tensor

  5. Altered somatosensory barrel cortex refinement in the developing brain of Mecp2-null mice.

    PubMed

    Moroto, M; Nishimura, A; Morimoto, M; Isoda, K; Morita, T; Yoshida, M; Morioka, S; Tozawa, T; Hasegawa, T; Chiyonobu, T; Yoshimoto, K; Hosoi, H

    2013-11-06

    Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) gene. In previous studies, monoaminergic dysfunctions have been detected in patients with RTT and in a murine model of RTT, the Mecp2-null mouse. Therefore, the pathogenesis of RTT is thought to involve impairments in the monoaminergic systems. However, there have been limited data showing that the impairment of monoamines leads to early symptoms during development. We used histochemistry to study the somatosensory barrel cortex in the B6.129P2(C)-Mecp2(tm1.1Bird) mouse model of RTT. The barrel cortex is widely used to investigate neuronal development and its regulation by various neurotransmitters including 5-HT. 5-HT levels were measured by high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC/EC), and serotonin transporter (SERT) and 5-HT1B receptor mRNAs were measured in the somatosensory cortex, thalamus and striatum on postnatal days (P) 10, P20 and P40. Mecp2-null mice (Mecp2-/y) had significantly smaller barrel fields than age-matched wild-type controls (Mecp2+/y) on P10 and P40, but the topographic map was accurately formed. Levels of 5-HT, and SERT and 5-HT1B receptor mRNA expression in the somatosensory cortex did not differ significantly between the Mecp2-null and wild-type mice on P10. However, thalamic 5-HT was reduced in Mecp2-null mice. Our data indicate that a lack of MeCP2 may disturb the refinement of the barrel cortex in the early postnatal period. Our findings suggest that a decrease in thalamic 5-HT might be involved in this phenomenon.

  6. Comparing development of synaptic proteins in rat visual, somatosensory, and frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Joshua G A; Jones, David G; Murphy, Kathryn M

    2013-01-01

    Two theories have influenced our understanding of cortical development: the integrated network theory, where synaptic development is coordinated across areas; and the cascade theory, where the cortex develops in a wave-like manner from sensory to non-sensory areas. These different views on cortical development raise challenges for current studies aimed at comparing detailed maturation of the connectome among cortical areas. We have taken a different approach to compare synaptic development in rat visual, somatosensory, and frontal cortex by measuring expression of pre-synaptic (synapsin and synaptophysin) proteins that regulate vesicle cycling, and post-synaptic density (PSD-95 and Gephyrin) proteins that anchor excitatory or inhibitory (E-I) receptors. We also compared development of the balances between the pairs of pre- or post-synaptic proteins, and the overall pre- to post-synaptic balance, to address functional maturation and emergence of the E-I balance. We found that development of the individual proteins and the post-synaptic index overlapped among the three cortical areas, but the pre-synaptic index matured later in frontal cortex. Finally, we applied a neuroinformatics approach using principal component analysis and found that three components captured development of the synaptic proteins. The first component accounted for 64% of the variance in protein expression and reflected total protein expression, which overlapped among the three cortical areas. The second component was gephyrin and the E-I balance, it emerged as sequential waves starting in somatosensory, then frontal, and finally visual cortex. The third component was the balance between pre- and post-synaptic proteins, and this followed a different developmental trajectory in somatosensory cortex. Together, these results give the most support to an integrated network of synaptic development, but also highlight more complex patterns of development that vary in timing and end point among the

  7. Somatosensory cortex excitability changes due to differences in instruction conditions of motor imagery.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Takashi; Miyata, Hironori; Nishi, Keita; Sagari, Akira; Moriuchi, Takefumi; Matsuo, Takashi; Tabira, Takayuki; Higashi, Toshio

    2017-09-21

    Purpose Vivid motor imagery appears to be associated with improved motor learning efficiency. However, the practical difficulties in measuring vivid motor imagery warrant new analytical approaches. The present study aimed to determine the instruction conditions for which vividness in motor imagery could be more easily seen and the excitability of the sensory cortex as it relates to the motor image. Materials and methods In total, 15 healthy, right-handed volunteers were instructed to imagine grasping a rubber ball under a verbal-only instruction condition (verbal condition), a verbal + visual instruction condition (visual condition), and a verbal + execution (physically grasping a real ball) condition (execution condition). We analyzed motor imagery-related changes in somatosensory cortical excitability by comparing somatosensory-evoked potentials in each condition with the rest (control) condition. We also used a visual analogue scale to measure subject-reported vividness of imagery. Results We found the N33 component was significantly lower in the execution condition than in the rest condition (p < 0.05). The results suggested a gating effect via central efferent mechanisms that affected the excitability of areas 3b or 1 in the primary somatosensory cortex, but only in the execution condition. Conclusions These data suggest that experiencing a movement through actual motor execution immediately prior to performing mental imagery of that movement enhances the excitability of motor-related cortical areas. It is suggested that the excitability of the motor-related region increased as a result of the motor imagery in the execution condition acting on the corresponding somatosensory cortex.

  8. Effects of spatiotemporal stimulus properties on spike timing correlations in owl monkey primary somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pouget, Pierre; Qi, Hui-Xin; Zhou, Zhiyi; Bernard, Melanie R.; Burish, Mark J.; Kaas, Jon H.

    2012-01-01

    The correlated discharges of cortical neurons in primary somatosensory cortex are a potential source of information about somatosensory stimuli. One aspect of neuronal correlations that has not been well studied is how the spatiotemporal properties of tactile stimuli affect the presence and magnitude of correlations. We presented single- and dual-point stimuli with varying spatiotemporal relationships to the hands of three anesthetized owl monkeys and recorded neuronal activity from 100-electrode arrays implanted in primary somatosensory cortex. Correlation magnitudes derived from joint peristimulus time histogram (JPSTH) analysis of single neuron pairs were used to determine the level of spike timing correlations under selected spatiotemporal stimulus conditions. Correlated activities between neuron pairs were commonly observed, and the proportions of correlated pairs tended to decrease with distance between the recorded neurons. Distance between stimulus sites also affected correlations. When stimuli were presented simultaneously at two sites, ∼37% of the recorded neuron pairs showed significant correlations when adjacent phalanges were stimulated, and ∼21% of the pairs were significantly correlated when nonadjacent digits were stimulated. Spatial proximity of paired stimuli also increased the average correlation magnitude. Stimulus onset asynchronies in the paired stimuli had small effects on the correlation magnitude. These results show that correlated discharges between neurons at the first level of cortical processing provide information about the relative locations of two stimuli on the hand. PMID:23019003

  9. The roles of primary somatosensory cortex in the coding of pain

    PubMed Central

    Vierck, Charles J.; Whitsel, Barry L.; Favorov, Oleg V.; Brown, Alexander W.; Tommerdahl, Mark

    2014-01-01

    The intensity and submodality of pain are widely attributed to stimulus encoding by peripheral and subcortical spinal/trigeminal portions of the somatosensory nervous system. Consistent with this interpretation are studies of surgically anesthetized animals, showing that relationships between nociceptive stimulation and activation of neurons are similar at subcortical levels of somatosensory projection and within the primary somatosensory cortex (in cytoarchitectural areas 3b and 1 of SI). Such findings have led to characterizations of SI as a network which preserves, rather than transforms, the excitatory drive it receives from subcortical levels. Inconsistent with this perspective are images and neurophysiological recordings of SI neurons in lightly anesthetized primates. These studies show that an extreme anterior position within SI (area 3a) receives input originating predominantly from unmyelinated nociceptors, distinguishing it from posterior SI (areas 3b and 1), long recognized as receiving input predominantly from myelinated afferents, including nociceptors. Of particular importance, interactions between these subregions during maintained nociceptive stimulation are accompanied by an altered SI response to myelinated and unmyelinated nociceptors. A revised view of pain coding within SI cortex is discussed, and potentially significant clinical implications are emphasized. PMID:23245864

  10. Understanding others' feelings: the role of the right primary somatosensory cortex in encoding the affective valence of others' touch.

    PubMed

    Bolognini, Nadia; Rossetti, Angela; Convento, Silvia; Vallar, Giuseppe

    2013-02-27

    Brain imaging studies in humans have shown the existence of a shared somatosensory representation in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), putatively involved in understanding others' sensations (Keysers et al., 2010); however, the role of S1 in such a high-level process is still unknown. To ascertain the causal involvement of S1, and its possible hemispheric lateralization, in encoding the affective valence of emotional scenes, depicting, or not, a tactile event, we gave to healthy participants a picture-based affective go/no-go task and low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was chosen as control site. rTMS over the right, but not the left, S1 selectively increased the participants' latencies in the affective go/no-go task, but only when the affective state was conveyed by touch; intriguingly, this interfering effect was associated with the empathic ability to adopt the subjective perspective of others. The left, not the right, DLPFC is also involved in affective go/no-go performance, but regardless of the sight of touch, and independently of empathic abilities. This novel evidence demonstrates the crossmodal role of right S1 in encoding the pleasant and aversive consequences of others' sensations evoked by touch.

  11. Ethosuximide Affects Paired-Pulse Facilitation in Somatosensory Cortex of WAG\\Rij Rats as a Model of Absence Seizure

    PubMed Central

    Ghamkhari Nejad, Ghazaleh; Shahabi, Parviz; Alipoor, Mohamad Reza; Ghaderi Pakdel, Firouz; Asghari, Mohammad; Sadighi Alvandi, Mina

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The interaction between somatosensory cortex and thalamus via a thalamocortical loop is a theory behind induction of absence epilepsy. Inside peri-oral somatosensory (S1po) and primary somatosensory forelimb (S1fl) regions, excitatory and inhibitory systems are not balanced and GABAergic inhibitory synapses seem to play a fundamental role in short-term plasticity alterations. Methods: We investigated the effects of Ethosuximide on presynaptic changes by utilizing paired-pulse stimulation that was recorded from somatosensory cortex in 18 WAG\\Rij rats during epileptic activity. A twisted tripolar electrode including two stimulating electrodes and one recording electrode was implanted into the S1po and S1FL according to stereotaxic landmarks. Paired-pulses (200 µs, 100-1000 µA, 0.1 Hz) were applied to somatosensory cortex at 50, 100, 400, 500 ms inter-pulse intervals for 50 min period. Results: The results showed that paired-pulse facilitation was significantly reduced at all intervals in all times, but compared to the control group of epileptic WAG/Rij rats (p<0.05), it was exceptional about the first 10 minutes after the injection. At the intervals of 50 and 100 ms, a remarkable PPD was found in second, third, fourth and fifth 10-min post injection. Conclusion: These experiments indicate that Ethosuximide has effects on presynaptic facilitation in somatosensory cortex inhibitory loops by alteration in GABA levels that leads to a markedly diminished PPF in paired-pulse stimulation. PMID:26819920

  12. Reorganization of the Intact Somatosensory Cortex Immediately after Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Humanes-Valera, Desire; Aguilar, Juan; Foffani, Guglielmo

    2013-01-01

    Sensory deafferentation produces extensive reorganization of the corresponding deafferented cortex. Little is known, however, about the role of the adjacent intact cortex in this reorganization. Here we show that a complete thoracic transection of the spinal cord immediately increases the responses of the intact forepaw cortex to forepaw stimuli (above the level of the lesion) in anesthetized rats. These increased forepaw responses were independent of the global changes in cortical state induced by the spinal cord transection described in our previous work (Aguilar et al., J Neurosci 2010), as the responses increased both when the cortex was in a silent state (down-state) or in an active state (up-state). The increased responses in the intact forepaw cortex correlated with increased responses in the deafferented hindpaw cortex, suggesting that they could represent different points of view of the same immediate state-independent functional reorganization of the primary somatosensory cortex after spinal cord injury. Collectively, the results of the present study and of our previous study suggest that both state-dependent and state-independent mechanisms can jointly contribute to cortical reorganization immediately after spinal cord injury. PMID:23922771

  13. Neuronal activity controls the development of interneurons in the somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Babij, Rachel; De Marco Garcia, Natalia

    2016-12-01

    Neuronal activity in cortical areas regulates neurodevelopment by interacting with defined genetic programs to shape the mature central nervous system. Electrical activity is conveyed to sensory cortical areas via intracortical and thalamocortical neurons, and includes oscillatory patterns that have been measured across cortical regions. In this work, we review the most recent findings about how electrical activity shapes the developmental assembly of functional circuitry in the somatosensory cortex, with an emphasis on interneuron maturation and integration. We include studies on the effect of various neurotransmitters and on the influence of thalamocortical afferent activity on circuit development. We additionally reviewed studies describing network activity patterns. We conducted an extensive literature search using both the PubMed and Google Scholar search engines. The following keywords were used in various iterations: "interneuron", "somatosensory", "development", "activity", "network patterns", "thalamocortical", "NMDA receptor", "plasticity". We additionally selected papers known to us from past reading, and those recommended to us by reviewers and members of our lab. We reviewed a total of 132 articles that focused on the role of activity in interneuronal migration, maturation, and circuit development, as well as the source of electrical inputs and patterns of cortical activity in the somatosensory cortex. 79 of these papers included in this timely review were written between 2007 and 2016. Neuronal activity shapes the developmental assembly of functional circuitry in the somatosensory cortical interneurons. This activity impacts nearly every aspect of development and acquisition of mature neuronal characteristics, and may contribute to changing phenotypes, altered transmitter expression, and plasticity in the adult. Progressively changing oscillatory network patterns contribute to this activity in the early postnatal period, although a direct requirement

  14. Steady-state activation in somatosensory cortex after changes in stimulus rate during median nerve stimulation.

    PubMed

    Manganotti, Paolo; Formaggio, Emanuela; Storti, Silvia Francesca; Avesani, Mirko; Acler, Michele; Sala, Francesco; Magon, Stefano; Zoccatelli, Giada; Pizzini, Francesca; Alessandrini, Franco; Fiaschi, Antonio; Beltramello, Alberto

    2009-11-01

    Passive electrical stimulation activates various human somatosensory cortical systems including the contralateral primary somatosensory area (SI), bilateral secondary somatosensory area (SII) and bilateral insula. The effect of stimulation frequency on blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) activity remains unclear. We acquired 3-T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in eight healthy volunteers during electrical median nerve stimulation at frequencies of 1, 3 and 10 Hz. During stimulation BOLD signal changes showed activation in the contralateral SI, bilateral SII and bilateral insula. Results of fMRI analysis showed that these areas were progressively active with the increase of rate of stimulation. As a major finding, the contralateral SI showed an increase of peak of BOLD activation from 1 to 3 Hz but reached a plateau during 10-Hz stimulation. Our finding is of interest for basic research and for clinical applications in subjects unable to perform cognitive tasks in the fMRI scanner.

  15. Structure of a single whisker representation in layer 2 of mouse somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Clancy, Kelly B; Schnepel, Philipp; Rao, Antara T; Feldman, Daniel E

    2015-03-04

    Layer (L)2 is a major output of primary sensory cortex that exhibits very sparse spiking, but the structure of sensory representation in L2 is not well understood. We combined two-photon calcium imaging with deflection of many whiskers to map whisker receptive fields, characterize sparse coding, and quantitatively define the point representation in L2 of mouse somatosensory cortex. Neurons within a column-sized imaging field showed surprisingly heterogeneous, salt-and-pepper tuning to many different whiskers. Single whisker deflection elicited low-probability spikes in highly distributed, shifting neural ensembles spanning multiple cortical columns. Whisker-evoked response probability correlated strongly with spontaneous firing rate, but weakly with tuning properties, indicating a spectrum of inherent responsiveness across pyramidal cells. L2 neurons projecting to motor and secondary somatosensory cortex differed in whisker tuning and responsiveness, and carried different amounts of information about columnar whisker deflection. From these data, we derive a quantitative, fine-scale picture of the distributed point representation in L2.

  16. Short-term expansion of receptive fields in rat primary somatosensory cortex after hindpaw digit denervation.

    PubMed

    Byrne, J A; Calford, M B

    1991-11-29

    The immediate effect of changing the driving cutaneous input to locations within primary somatosensory cortex (SI) was examined by denervating one or more digits of the rat hindpaw by amputation or local anesthesia. When all or part of a receptive field of a cluster of neurons was denervated, it was found that the cortical location recorded from gained responsiveness to cutaneous stimulation of hindpaw areas bordering the denervated region. In 22 of the 29 animals studied this expansion took place within 5 min of the denervation.

  17. Computational modeling of direct neuronal recruitment during intracortical microstimulation in somatosensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overstreet, C. K.; Klein, J. D.; Helms Tillery, S. I.

    2013-12-01

    Objective. Electrical stimulation of cortical tissue could be used to deliver sensory information as part of a neuroprosthetic device, but current control of the location, resolution, quality, and intensity of sensations elicited by intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) remains inadequate for this purpose. One major obstacle to resolving this problem is the poor understanding of the neural activity induced by ICMS. Even with new imaging methods, quantifying the activity of many individual neurons within cortex is difficult. Approach. We used computational modeling to examine the response of somatosensory cortex to ICMS. We modeled the axonal arbors of eight distinct morphologies of interneurons and seven types of pyramidal neurons found in somatosensory cortex and identified their responses to extracellular stimulation. We then combined these axonal elements to form a multi-layered slab of simulated cortex and investigated the patterns of neural activity directly induced by ICMS. Specifically we estimated the number, location, and variety of neurons directly recruited by stimulation on a single penetrating microelectrode. Main results. The population of neurons activated by ICMS was dependent on both stimulation strength and the depth of the electrode within cortex. Strikingly, stimulation recruited interneurons and pyramidal neurons in very different patterns. Interneurons are primarily recruited within a dense, continuous region around the electrode, while pyramidal neurons were recruited in a sparse fashion both near the electrode and up to several millimeters away. Thus ICMS can lead to an unexpectedly complex spatial distribution of firing neurons. Significance. These results lend new insights to the complexity and range of neural activity that can be induced by ICMS. This work also suggests mechanisms potentially responsible for the inconsistency and unnatural quality of sensations initiated by ICMS. Understanding these mechanisms will aid in the design of

  18. Early and late activity in somatosensory cortex reflects changes in bodily self-consciousness: an evoked potential study.

    PubMed

    Aspell, J E; Palluel, E; Blanke, O

    2012-08-02

    How can we investigate the brain mechanisms underlying self-consciousness? Recent behavioural studies on multisensory bodily perception have shown that multisensory conflicts can alter bodily self-consciousness such as in the "full body illusion" (FBI) in which changes in self-identification with a virtual body and tactile perception are induced. Here we investigated whether experimental changes in self-identification during the FBI are accompanied by activity changes in somatosensory cortex by recording somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs). To modulate self-identification, participants were filmed by a video camera from behind while their backs were stroked, either synchronously (illusion condition) or asynchronously (control condition) with respect to the stroking seen on their virtual body. Tibial nerve SEPs were recorded during the FBI and analysed using evoked potential (EP) mapping. Tactile mislocalisation was measured using the crossmodal congruency task. SEP mapping revealed five sequential periods of brain activation during the FBI, of which two differed between the illusion condition and the control condition. Activation at 30-50 ms (corresponding to the P40 component) in primary somatosensory cortex was stronger in the illusion condition. A later activation at ∼110-200 ms, likely originating in higher-tier somatosensory regions in parietal cortex, was stronger and lasted longer in the control condition. These data show that changes in bodily self-consciousness modulate activity in primary and higher-tier somatosensory cortex at two distinct processing steps. We argue that early modulations of primary somatosensory cortex may be a consequence of (1) multisensory integration of synchronous vs. asynchronous visuo-tactile stimuli and/or (2) differences in spatial attention (to near or far space) between the conditions. The later activation in higher-tier parietal cortex (and potentially other regions in temporo-parietal and frontal cortex) likely

  19. Understanding the role of the primary somatosensory cortex: Opportunities for rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Borich, M R; Brodie, S M; Gray, W A; Ionta, S; Boyd, L A

    2015-12-01

    Emerging evidence indicates impairments in somatosensory function may be a major contributor to motor dysfunction associated with neurologic injury or disorders. However, the neuroanatomical substrates underlying the connection between aberrant sensory input and ineffective motor output are still under investigation. The primary somatosensory cortex (S1) plays a critical role in processing afferent somatosensory input and contributes to the integration of sensory and motor signals necessary for skilled movement. Neuroimaging and neurostimulation approaches provide unique opportunities to non-invasively study S1 structure and function including connectivity with other cortical regions. These research techniques have begun to illuminate casual contributions of abnormal S1 activity and connectivity to motor dysfunction and poorer recovery of motor function in neurologic patient populations. This review synthesizes recent evidence illustrating the role of S1 in motor control, motor learning and functional recovery with an emphasis on how information from these investigations may be exploited to inform stroke rehabilitation to reduce motor dysfunction and improve therapeutic outcomes.

  20. Understanding the role of the primary somatosensory cortex: Opportunities for rehabilitation

    PubMed Central

    Borich, M.R.; Brodie, S.M.; Gray, W.A.; Ionta, S.; Boyd, L.A.

    2016-01-01

    Emerging evidence indicates impairments in somatosensory function may be a major contributor to motor dysfunction associated with neurologic injury or disorders. However, the neuroanatomical substrates underlying the connection between aberrant sensory input and ineffective motor output are still under investigation. The primary somatosensory cortex (S1) plays a critical role in processing afferent somatosensory input and contributes to the integration of sensory and motor signals necessary for skilled movement. Neuroimaging and neurostimulation approaches provide unique opportunities to non-invasively study S1 structure and function including connectivity with other cortical regions. These research techniques have begun to illuminate casual contributions of abnormal S1 activity and connectivity to motor dysfunction and poorer recovery of motor function in neurologic patient populations. This review synthesizes recent evidence illustrating the role of S1 in motor control, motor learning and functional recovery with an emphasis on how information from these investigations may be exploited to inform stroke rehabilitation to reduce motor dysfunction and improve therapeutic outcomes. PMID:26164474

  1. Optical intrinsic signals in rat primary somatosensory cortex during non-noxious and noxious elecrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Weihua; Li, Pengcheng; Chen, Shangbin; Luo, Qingming

    2003-12-01

    Optical imaging method was applied into observing the temporal-spatial characteristic of rat primary somatosensory cortex during graded electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve (5hz,duration of 2s,0.5ms puls,1x,10x and 20x muscle twitch threshold). We found that the temporal and spatial properties of hindlimb somatosensory cortex were modulated by graded intensity electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve. The magnitude and time course were larger and longer with the intensity raising. And the spatial extent was wider at 20x stimulus than the other two kinds of stimulus. Therefore, our optical imaging was based on 570nm, which only reflect the changes of blood volume. Then our future study will reveal more information of pain modulation in primary somatosensory cortex.

  2. Somatosensory cortical plasticity in adult humans revealed by magnetoencephalography.

    PubMed Central

    Mogilner, A; Grossman, J A; Ribary, U; Joliot, M; Volkmann, J; Rapaport, D; Beasley, R W; Llinás, R R

    1993-01-01

    Microelectrode recordings in adult mammals have clearly demonstrated that somatosensory cortical maps reorganize following peripheral nerve injuries and functional modifications; however, such reorganization has never been directly demonstrated in humans. Using magnetoencephalography, we have been able to demonstrate the somatotopic organization of the hand area in normal humans with high spatial precision. Somatosensory cortical plasticity was detected in two adults who were studied before and after surgical separation of webbed fingers (syndactyly). The presurgical maps displayed shrunken and nonsomatotopic hand representations. Within weeks following surgery, cortical reorganization occurring over distances of 3-9 mm was evident, correlating with the new functional status of their separated digits. In contrast, no modification of the somatosensory map was observed months following transfer of a neurovascular skin island flap for sensory reconstruction of the thumb in two subjects in whom sensory transfer failed to occur. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8386377

  3. Organization of somatosensory cortex in the northern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster), a predatory rodent

    PubMed Central

    Sarko, Diana K.; Leitch, Duncan B.; Girard, Isabelle; Sikes, Robert S.; Catania, Kenneth C.

    2010-01-01

    Northern grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster) are among the most highly carnivorous rodents in North America. Because predatory mammals may have specialization of senses used to detect prey, we investigated the organization of sensory areas within grasshopper mouse neocortex and quantified the number of myelinated axons in grasshopper mouse trigeminal, cochlear, and optic nerves. Multiunit electrophysiological recordings combined with analysis of flattened sections of neocortex processed for cytochrome oxidase were used to determine the topography of primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and the location and size of both the visual and auditory cortex in adult animals. These findings were then related to the distinctive chemoarchitecture of layer IV visible in flattened cortical sections of juvenile grasshopper mice labeled with the serotonin transporter (SERT) antibody, revealing a striking correspondence between electrophysiological maps and cortical anatomy. PMID:21120928

  4. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche.

  5. Neuronal activity controls the development of interneurons in the somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Babij, Rachel

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND Neuronal activity in cortical areas regulates neurodevelopment by interacting with defined genetic programs to shape the mature central nervous system. Electrical activity is conveyed to sensory cortical areas via intracortical and thalamocortical neurons, and includes oscillatory patterns that have been measured across cortical regions. OBJECTIVE In this work, we review the most recent findings about how electrical activity shapes the developmental assembly of functional circuitry in the somatosensory cortex, with an emphasis on interneuron maturation and integration. We include studies on the effect of various neurotransmitters and on the influence of thalamocortical afferent activity on circuit development. We additionally reviewed studies describing network activity patterns. METHODS We conducted an extensive literature search using both the PubMed and Google Scholar search engines. The following keywords were used in various iterations: “interneuron”, “somatosensory”, “development”, “activity”, “network patterns”, “thalamocortical”, “NMDA receptor”, “plasticity”. We additionally selected papers known to us from past reading, and those recommended to us by reviewers and members of our lab. RESULTS We reviewed a total of 132 articles that focused on the role of activity in interneuronal migration, maturation, and circuit development, as well as the source of electrical inputs and patterns of cortical activity in the somatosensory cortex. 79 of these papers included in this timely review were written between 2007 and 2016. CONCLUSIONS Neuronal activity shapes the developmental assembly of functional circuitry in the somatosensory cortical interneurons. This activity impacts nearly every aspect of development and acquisition of mature neuronal characteristics, and may contribute to changing phenotypes, altered transmitter expression, and plasticity in the adult. Progressively changing oscillatory network patterns

  6. Functional Reorganization of the Primary Somatosensory Cortex of a Phantom Limb Pain Patient.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jia; Guo, Xiaoli; Xia, Xiaolei; Peng, Weiwei; Wang, Wuchao; Li, Shulin; Zhang, Ya; Hu, Li

    2016-07-01

    Functional reorganization of the somatosensory system was widely observed in phantom limb pain patients. Whereas some studies demonstrated that the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) of the amputated limb was engaged with the regions around it, others showed that phantom limb pain was associated with preserved structure and functional organization in the former brain region. However, according to the law of use and disuse, the sensitivity of S1 of the amputated limb to pain-related context should be enhanced due to the adaptation to the long-lasting phantom limb pain experience. Here, we collected neurophysiological data from a patient with 21-year phantom limb pain using electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques. EEG data showed that both laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) and tactile-evoked potentials (TEPs) were clearly presented only when radiant-heat laser pulses and electrical pulses were delivered to the shoulder of the healthy limb, but not of the amputated limb. This observation suggested the functional deficit of somatosensory pathways at the amputated side. FMRI data showed that significant larger brain activations by painful rather than non-painful stimuli in video clips were observed not only at visual-related brain areas and anterior/mid-cingulate cortex, but also at S1 contralateral to the amputated limb. This observation suggested the increased sensitivity of S1 of the amputated limb to the pain-related context. In addition, such increase of sensitivity was significantly larger if the context was associated with the amputated limb of the patient. In summary, our findings provided novel evidence for a possible neuroplasticity of S1 of the amputated limb: in an amputee with long-lasting phantom limb pain, the sensitivity of S1 to pain-related and amputated-limb-related context was greatly enhanced.

  7. The reactivation of somatosensory cortex and behavioral recovery after sensory loss in mature primates

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Hui-Xin; Kaas, Jon H.; Reed, Jamie L.

    2014-01-01

    In our experiments, we removed a major source of activation of somatosensory cortex in mature monkeys by unilaterally sectioning the sensory afferents in the dorsal columns of the spinal cord at a high cervical level. At this level, the ascending branches of tactile afferents from the hand are cut, while other branches of these afferents remain intact to terminate on neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Immediately after such a lesion, the monkeys seem relatively unimpaired in locomotion and often use the forelimb, but further inspection reveals that they prefer to use the unaffected hand in reaching for food. In addition, systematic testing indicates that they make more errors in retrieving pieces of food, and start using visual inspection of the rotated hand to confirm the success of the grasping of the food. Such difficulties are not surprising as a complete dorsal column lesion totally deactivates the contralateral hand representation in primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b). However, hand use rapidly improves over the first post-lesion weeks, and much of the hand representational territory in contralateral area 3b is reactivated by inputs from the hand in roughly a normal somatotopic pattern. Quantitative measures of single neuron response properties reveal that reactivated neurons respond to tactile stimulation on the hand with high firing rates and only slightly longer latencies. We conclude that preserved dorsal column afferents after nearly complete lesions contribute to the reactivation of cortex and the recovery of the behavior, but second-order sensory pathways in the spinal cord may also play an important role. Our microelectrode recordings indicate that these preserved first-order, and second-order pathways are initially weak and largely ineffective in activating cortex, but they are potentiated during the recovery process. Therapies that would promote this potentiation could usefully enhance recovery after spinal cord injury. PMID:24860443

  8. Task-relevant modulation of primary somatosensory cortex suggests a prefrontal-cortical sensory gating system.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Rotte, Michael

    2005-08-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that somatosensory information is modulated cortically for task-specific sensory inflow: Several studies report short-term adaptation of representational maps in primary somatosensory cortex (SI) due to attention or induced by task-related motor activity such as handwriting. Recently, it has been hypothesized that the frontal or prefrontal cortex may modulate SI. In order to test this hypothesis, we studied the functional organization of SI while subjects performed the Tower of Hanoi task. This task is known to be related to activation of frontal or prefrontal areas. The functional organization of SI while performing the Tower of Hanoi task was compared to the organization of SI during performing the same movements but without the Tower of Hanoi task and with rest. Topography of SI was assessed using neuromagnetic source imaging based on tactile stimulation of the first (D1) and fifth digits (D5). Performing the Tower of Hanoi task was accompanied by plastic changes in SI as indicated by significant shifts in the cortical representations of D1 and D5: They moved further apart during the Tower of Hanoi task compared to the control task containing the same movements but without the cognitive characteristic. Thus, we conclude that SI maps undergo dynamic modulation depending on motor tasks with different cognitive demands. The results suggest that this short-term plasticity may be regulated by a prefrontal-cortical sensory gating system.

  9. A neural field model of the somatosensory cortex: formation, maintenance and reorganization of ordered topographic maps.

    PubMed

    Detorakis, Georgios Is; Rougier, Nicolas P

    2012-01-01

    We investigate the formation and maintenance of ordered topographic maps in the primary somatosensory cortex as well as the reorganization of representations after sensory deprivation or cortical lesion. We consider both the critical period (postnatal) where representations are shaped and the post-critical period where representations are maintained and possibly reorganized. We hypothesize that feed-forward thalamocortical connections are an adequate site of plasticity while cortico-cortical connections are believed to drive a competitive mechanism that is critical for learning. We model a small skin patch located on the distal phalangeal surface of a digit as a set of 256 Merkel ending complexes (MEC) that feed a computational model of the primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b). This model is a two-dimensional neural field where spatially localized solutions (a.k.a. bumps) drive cortical plasticity through a Hebbian-like learning rule. Simulations explain the initial formation of ordered representations following repetitive and random stimulations of the skin patch. Skin lesions as well as cortical lesions are also studied and results confirm the possibility to reorganize representations using the same learning rule and depending on the type of the lesion. For severe lesions, the model suggests that cortico-cortical connections may play an important role in complete recovery.

  10. Resting BOLD fluctuations in the primary somatosensory cortex correlate with tactile acuity.

    PubMed

    Haag, Lauren M; Heba, Stefanie; Lenz, Melanie; Glaubitz, Benjamin; Höffken, Oliver; Kalisch, Tobias; Puts, Nicholaas A; Edden, Richard A E; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias

    2015-03-01

    Sensory perception, including 2-point discrimination (2 ptD), is tightly linked to cortical processing of tactile stimuli in primary somatosensory cortices. While the role of cortical activity in response to a tactile stimulus has been widely investigated, the role of baseline cortical activity is largely unknown. Using resting state fMRI we investigated the relationship between local BOLD fluctuations in the primary somatosensory cortex (the representational field of the hand) and 2 ptD of the corresponding index finger (right and left). Cortical activity was measured using fractional amplitudes of the low frequency BOLD fluctuations (fALFF) and synchronicity using regional homogeneity (ReHo) of the S1 hand region during rest. 2 ptD correlated with higher ReHo values in the representational areas of the contralateral S1 cortex (left hand: p = .028; right hand: p = .049). 2 ptD additionally correlated with higher fALFF in the representational area of the left hand (p = .007) and showed a trend for a significant correlation in the representational area of the right hand (p = .051). Thus, higher BOLD amplitudes and synchronicity at rest, as measures of cortical activity and synchronicity, respectively, are related to better tactile discrimination abilities of the contralateral hand. Our findings extend the relationship seen between spontaneous BOLD fluctuations and sensory perception.

  11. Spinal direct current stimulation modulates the activity of gracile nucleus and primary somatosensory cortex in anaesthetized rats

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar, J; Pulecchi, F; Dilena, R; Oliviero, A; Priori, A; Foffani, G

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Afferent somatosensory activity from the spinal cord has a profound impact on the activity of the brain. Here we investigated the effects of spinal stimulation using direct current, delivered at the thoracic level, on the spontaneous activity and on the somatosensory evoked potentials of the gracile nucleus, which is the main entry point for hindpaw somatosensory signals reaching the brain from the dorsal columns, and of the primary somatosensory cortex in anaesthetized rats. Anodal spinal direct current stimulation (sDCS) increased the spontaneous activity and decreased the amplitude of evoked responses in the gracile nucleus, whereas cathodal sDCS produced the opposite effects. At the level of the primary somatosensory cortex, the changes in spontaneous activity induced by sDCS were consistent with the effects observed in the gracile nucleus, but the changes in cortical evoked responses were more variable and state dependent. Therefore, sDCS can modulate in a polarity-specific manner the supraspinal activity of the somatosensory system, offering a versatile bottom-up neuromodulation technique that could potentially be useful in a number of clinical applications. PMID:21825031

  12. Temporal profiles and 2-dimensional oxy-, deoxy-, and total-hemoglobin somatosensory maps in rat versus mouse cortex

    PubMed Central

    Prakash, Neal; Biag, Jonathan D.; Sheth, Sameer A.; Mitsuyama, Satoshi; Theriot, Jeremy; Ramachandra, Chaithanya; Toga, Arthur W.

    2007-01-01

    Background Mechanisms of neurovascular coupling—the relationship between neuronal chemoelectrical activity and compensatory metabolic and hemodynamic changes—appear to be preserved across species from rats to humans despite differences in scale. However, previous work suggests that the highly cellular dense mouse somatosensory cortex has different functional hemodynamic changes compared to other species. Methods We developed novel hardware and software for 2-dimensional optical spectroscopy (2DOS). Optical changes at four simultaneously recorded wavelengths were measured in both rat and mouse primary somatosensory cortex (S1) evoked by forepaw stimulation to create four spectral maps. The spectral maps were converted to maps of deoxy-, oxy-, and total-hemoglobin (HbR, HbO, and HbT) concentration changes using the modified Beer-Lambert law and phantom HbR and HbO absorption spectra. Results Functional hemodynamics were different in mouse versus rat neocortex. On average, hemodynamics were as expected in rat primary somatosensory cortex (S1): the fractional change in the log of HbT concentration increased monophasically 2 s after stimulus, whereas HbO changes mirrored HbR changes, with HbO showing a small initial dip at 0.5 s followed by a large increase 3.0 s post stimulus. In contrast, mouse S1 showed a novel type of stimulus-evoked hemodynamic response, with prolonged, concurrent, monophasic increases in HbR and HbT and a parallel decrease in HbO that all peaked 3.5–4.5 s post stimulus onset. For rats, at any given time point the average size and shape of HbO and HbR forepaw maps were the same, whereas surface veins distorted the shape of the HbT map. For mice, HbO, HbR, and HbT forepaw maps were generally the same size and shape at any post-stimulus time point. Conclusions 2DOS using image splitting optics is feasible across species for brain mapping and quantifying the map topography of cortical hemodynamics. These results suggest that during physiologic

  13. Thalamocortical Connections Drive Intracortical Activation of Functional Columns in the Mislaminated Reeler Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Wagener, Robin J; Witte, Mirko; Guy, Julien; Mingo-Moreno, Nieves; Kügler, Sebastian; Staiger, Jochen F

    2016-02-01

    Neuronal wiring is key to proper neural information processing. Tactile information from the rodent's whiskers reaches the cortex via distinct anatomical pathways. The lemniscal pathway relays whisking and touch information from the ventral posteromedial thalamic nucleus to layer IV of the primary somatosensory "barrel" cortex. The disorganized neocortex of the reeler mouse is a model system that should severely compromise the ingrowth of thalamocortical axons (TCAs) into the cortex. Moreover, it could disrupt intracortical wiring. We found that neuronal intermingling within the reeler barrel cortex substantially exceeded previous descriptions, leading to the loss of layers. However, viral tracing revealed that TCAs still specifically targeted transgenically labeled spiny layer IV neurons. Slice electrophysiology and optogenetics proved that these connections represent functional synapses. In addition, we assessed intracortical activation via immediate-early-gene expression resulting from a behavioral exploration task. The cellular composition of activated neuronal ensembles suggests extensive similarities in intracolumnar information processing in the wild-type and reeler brains. We conclude that extensive ectopic positioning of neuronal partners can be compensated for by cell-autonomous mechanisms that allow for the establishment of proper connectivity. Thus, genetic neuronal fate seems to be of greater importance for correct cortical wiring than radial neuronal position.

  14. Cytidine-5-diphosphocholine supplement in early life induces stable increase in dendritic complexity of neurons in the somatosensory cortex of adult rats.

    PubMed

    Rema, V; Bali, K K; Ramachandra, R; Chugh, M; Darokhan, Z; Chaudhary, R

    2008-08-13

    Cytidine-5-diphosphocholine (CDP-choline or citicholine) is an essential molecule that is required for biosynthesis of cell membranes. In adult humans it is used as a memory-enhancing drug for treatment of age-related dementia and cerebrovascular conditions. However the effect of CDP-choline on perinatal brain is not known. We administered CDP-choline to Long Evans rats each day from conception (maternal ingestion) to postnatal day 60 (P60). Pyramidal neurons from supragranular layers 2/3, granular layer 4 and infragranular layer 5 of somatosensory cortex were examined with Golgi-Cox staining at P240. CDP-choline treatment significantly increased length and branch points of apical and basal dendrites. Sholl analysis shows that the complexity of apical and basal dendrites of neurons is maximal in layers 2/3 and layer 5. In layer 4 significant increases were seen in basilar dendritic arborization. CDP-choline did not increase the number of primary basal dendrites on neurons in the somatosensory cortex. Primary cultures from somatosensory cortex were treated with CDP-choline to test its effect on neuronal survival. CDP-choline treatment neither enhanced the survival of neurons in culture nor increased the number of neurites. However significant increases in neurite length, branch points and total area occupied by the neurons were observed. We conclude that exogenous supplementation of CDP-choline during development causes stable changes in neuronal morphology. Significant increase in dendritic growth and branching of pyramidal neurons from the somatosensory cortex resulted in enlarging the surface area occupied by the neurons which we speculate will augment processing of sensory information.

  15. Cytidine-5-diphosphocholine supplement in early life induces stable increase in dendritic complexity of neurons in the somatosensory cortex of adult rats

    PubMed Central

    Rema, V.; Bali, K.K.; Ramachandra, R.; Chugh, M.; Darokhan, Z.; Chaudhary, R.

    2008-01-01

    Cytidine-5-diphosphocholine (CDP-choline or citicholine) is an essential molecule that is required for biosynthesis of cell membranes. In adult humans it is used as a memory-enhancing drug for treatment of age-related dementia and cerebrovascular conditions. However the effect of CDP-choline on perinatal brain is not known. We administered CDP-choline to Long Evans rats each day from conception (maternal ingestion) to postnatal day 60 (P60). Pyramidal neurons from supragranular layers 2/3, granular layer 4 and infragranular layer 5 of somatosensory cortex were examined with Golgi–Cox staining at P240. CDP-choline treatment significantly increased length and branch points of apical and basal dendrites. Sholl analysis shows that the complexity of apical and basal dendrites of neurons is maximal in layers 2/3 and layer 5. In layer 4 significant increases were seen in basilar dendritic arborization. CDP-choline did not increase the number of primary basal dendrites on neurons in the somatosensory cortex. Primary cultures from somatosensory cortex were treated with CDP-choline to test its effect on neuronal survival. CDP-choline treatment neither enhanced the survival of neurons in culture nor increased the number of neurites. However significant increases in neurite length, branch points and total area occupied by the neurons were observed. We conclude that exogenous supplementation of CDP-choline during development causes stable changes in neuronal morphology. Significant increase in dendritic growth and branching of pyramidal neurons from the somatosensory cortex resulted in enlarging the surface area occupied by the neurons which we speculate will augment processing of sensory information. PMID:18619738

  16. Distributed functions of detection and discrimination of vibrotactile stimuli in the hierarchical human somatosensory system

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Junsuk; Müller, Klaus-Robert; Chung, Yoon Gi; Chung, Soon-Cheol; Park, Jang-Yeon; Bülthoff, Heinrich H.; Kim, Sung-Phil

    2015-01-01

    According to the hierarchical view of human somatosensory network, somatic sensory information is relayed from the thalamus to primary somatosensory cortex (S1), and then distributed to adjacent cortical regions to perform further perceptual and cognitive functions. Although a number of neuroimaging studies have examined neuronal activity correlated with tactile stimuli, comparatively less attention has been devoted toward understanding how vibrotactile stimulus information is processed in the hierarchical somatosensory cortical network. To explore the hierarchical perspective of tactile information processing, we studied two cases: (a) discrimination between the locations of finger stimulation; and (b) detection of stimulation against no stimulation on individual fingers, using both standard general linear model (GLM) and searchlight multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) techniques. These two cases were studied on the same data set resulting from a passive vibrotactile stimulation experiment. Our results showed that vibrotactile stimulus locations on fingers could be discriminated from measurements of human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In particular, it was in case (a) we observed activity in contralateral posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and supramarginal gyrus (SMG) but not in S1, while in case; (b) we found significant cortical activations in S1 but not in PPC and SMG. These discrepant observations suggest the functional specialization with regard to vibrotactile stimulus locations, especially, the hierarchical information processing in the human somatosensory cortical areas. Our findings moreover support the general understanding that S1 is the main sensory receptive area for the sense of touch, and adjacent cortical regions (i.e., PPC and SMG) are in charge of a higher level of processing and may thus contribute most for the successful classification between stimulated finger locations. PMID:25653609

  17. Distributed functions of detection and discrimination of vibrotactile stimuli in the hierarchical human somatosensory system.

    PubMed

    Kim, Junsuk; Müller, Klaus-Robert; Chung, Yoon Gi; Chung, Soon-Cheol; Park, Jang-Yeon; Bülthoff, Heinrich H; Kim, Sung-Phil

    2014-01-01

    According to the hierarchical view of human somatosensory network, somatic sensory information is relayed from the thalamus to primary somatosensory cortex (S1), and then distributed to adjacent cortical regions to perform further perceptual and cognitive functions. Although a number of neuroimaging studies have examined neuronal activity correlated with tactile stimuli, comparatively less attention has been devoted toward understanding how vibrotactile stimulus information is processed in the hierarchical somatosensory cortical network. To explore the hierarchical perspective of tactile information processing, we studied two cases: (a) discrimination between the locations of finger stimulation; and (b) detection of stimulation against no stimulation on individual fingers, using both standard general linear model (GLM) and searchlight multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) techniques. These two cases were studied on the same data set resulting from a passive vibrotactile stimulation experiment. Our results showed that vibrotactile stimulus locations on fingers could be discriminated from measurements of human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In particular, it was in case (a) we observed activity in contralateral posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and supramarginal gyrus (SMG) but not in S1, while in case; (b) we found significant cortical activations in S1 but not in PPC and SMG. These discrepant observations suggest the functional specialization with regard to vibrotactile stimulus locations, especially, the hierarchical information processing in the human somatosensory cortical areas. Our findings moreover support the general understanding that S1 is the main sensory receptive area for the sense of touch, and adjacent cortical regions (i.e., PPC and SMG) are in charge of a higher level of processing and may thus contribute most for the successful classification between stimulated finger locations.

  18. Decoding hand gestures from primary somatosensory cortex using high-density ECoG.

    PubMed

    Branco, Mariana P; Freudenburg, Zachary V; Aarnoutse, Erik J; Bleichner, Martin G; Vansteensel, Mariska J; Ramsey, Nick F

    2017-02-15

    Electrocorticography (ECoG) based Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) have been proposed as a way to restore and replace motor function or communication in severely paralyzed people. To date, most motor-based BCIs have either focused on the sensorimotor cortex as a whole or on the primary motor cortex (M1) as a source of signals for this purpose. Still, target areas for BCI are not confined to M1, and more brain regions may provide suitable BCI control signals. A logical candidate is the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), which not only shares similar somatotopic organization to M1, but also has been suggested to have a role beyond sensory feedback during movement execution. Here, we investigated whether four complex hand gestures, taken from the American sign language alphabet, can be decoded exclusively from S1 using both spatial and temporal information. For decoding, we used the signal recorded from a small patch of cortex with subdural high-density (HD) grids in five patients with intractable epilepsy. Notably, we introduce a new method of trial alignment based on the increase of the electrophysiological response, which virtually eliminates the confounding effects of systematic and non-systematic temporal differences within and between gestures execution. Results show that S1 classification scores are high (76%), similar to those obtained from M1 (74%) and sensorimotor cortex as a whole (85%), and significantly above chance level (25%). We conclude that S1 offers characteristic spatiotemporal neuronal activation patterns that are discriminative between gestures, and that it is possible to decode gestures with high accuracy from a very small patch of cortex using subdurally implanted HD grids. The feasibility of decoding hand gestures using HD-ECoG grids encourages further investigation of implantable BCI systems for direct interaction between the brain and external devices with multiple degrees of freedom.

  19. Excessive body fat linked to blunted somatosensory cortex response to general reward in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Navas, J F; Barrós-Loscertales, A; Costumero-Ramos, V; Verdejo-Román, J; Vilar-López, R; Verdejo-García, A

    2017-08-18

    The brain reward system is key to understanding adolescent obesity in the current obesogenic environment, rich in highly appetising stimuli, to which adolescents are particularly sensitive. We aimed to examine the association between body fat levels and brain reward system responsivity to general (monetary) rewards in male and female adolescents. Sixty-eight adolescents (34 females; mean age (s.d.)= 16.56 (1.35)) were measured for body fat levels with bioelectric impedance, and underwent a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan during the Monetary Incentive Delay (MID) task. The MID task reliably elicits brain activations associated with two fundamental aspects of reward processing: anticipation and feedback. We conducted regression analyses to examine the association between body fat and brain reward system responsivity during reward anticipation and feedback, while controlling for sex, age and socioeconomic status. We also analysed the moderating impact of sex on the relationship between fat levels and brain responsivity measures. Brain imaging analyses were corrected for multiple comparisons, with a cluster-defining threshold of P<0.001, and minimum cluster size of 38 contiguous voxels. Higher body fat levels were associated with lower activation of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and the supramarginal gyrus during reward feedback after controlling for key sociodemographic variables. Although we did not find significant associations between body fat and brain activations during reward anticipation, S1/supramarginal gyrus activation during feedback was linked to increased negative prediction error, that is, less reward than expected, in illustrative post hoc analyses. Sex did not significantly moderate the association between body fat and brain activation in the MID task. In adolescents, higher adiposity is linked to hypo-responsivity of somatosensory regions during general (monetary) reward feedback. Findings suggest that adolescents with

  20. [The acceleration of ultrastructure changes of synapses in somatosensory cortex of the rats at repeated simulation of weightlessness effects].

    PubMed

    Krasnov, I B; D'iachkova, L N

    2006-01-01

    The electronmicroscopica/study of brain somatosensory cortex in the rats, exposed to postponed for a long time repeated lack of support load on hindlimbs by means of tail-suspension, has been revealed in hindlimb area of cortex the changes of ultrastructure of axodendritic synapses and neurons pointing out the acceleration of decrease in functional activity of synapses and neurons in 3-4 layers at postponed for a long time repeated simulation of weightlessness effects.

  1. [Methylmercury causes diffuse damage to the somatosensory cortex: how to diagnose Minamata disease].

    PubMed

    Ekino, Shigeo; Ninomiya, Tadashi; Imamura, Keiko; Susa, Mari

    2007-01-01

    The first acute case of methylmercury (MeHg) poisoning by the consumption of fish arose in Minamata, Japan, in 1953. It was officially recognized and called Minamata disease (MD) in 1956. There are still arguments about the definition of MD in terms of its associated clinical symptoms and lesions even 50 years after the initial recognition of MD. Studies on this MD epidemic are reviewed along with its historical background. Since MeHg dispersed from Minamata to the Shiranui Sea, residents living around the sea had been exposed to low-dose MeHg through fish consumption for about 20 years (at least from 1950 to 1968). These chronic MeHg poisoning patients complained of paresthesia at the distal parts of their extremities and around the lips even 30 years after the cessation of exposure to MeHg of anthropogenic origin. The persisting somatosensory disorders after the discontinuation of exposure to MeHg were induced by diffuse damage to the somatosensory cortex, but not by damage to the peripheral nervous system, as previously believed. Based on these findings, symptoms and lesions in MeHg poisoning are reappraised.

  2. The Development of Nociceptive Network Activity in the Somatosensory Cortex of Freely Moving Rat Pups

    PubMed Central

    Chang, P.; Fabrizi, L.; Olhede, S.; Fitzgerald, M.

    2016-01-01

    Cortical perception of noxious stimulation is an essential component of pain experience but it is not known how cortical nociceptive activity emerges during brain development. Here we use continuous telemetric electrocorticogram (ECoG) recording from the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) of awake active rat pups to map functional nociceptive processing in the developing brain over the first 4 weeks of life. Cross-sectional and longitudinal recordings show that baseline S1 ECoG energy increases steadily with age, with a distinctive beta component replaced by a distinctive theta component in week 3. Event-related potentials were evoked by brief noxious hindpaw skin stimulation at all ages tested, confirming the presence of functional nociceptive spinothalamic inputs in S1. However, hindpaw incision, which increases pain sensitivity at all ages, did not increase S1 ECoG energy until week 3. A significant increase in gamma (20–50 Hz) energy occurred in the presence of skin incision at week 3 accompanied by a longer-lasting increase in theta (4–8 Hz) energy at week 4. Continuous ECoG recording demonstrates specific postnatal functional stages in the maturation of S1 cortical nociception. Somatosensory cortical coding of an ongoing pain “state” in awake rat pups becomes apparent between 2 and 4 weeks of age. PMID:27797835

  3. Organization of myelin in the mouse somatosensory barrel cortex and the effects of sensory deprivation.

    PubMed

    Barrera, Kyrstle; Chu, Philip; Abramowitz, Jason; Steger, Robert; Ramos, Raddy L; Brumberg, Joshua C

    2013-04-01

    In rodents, the barrel cortex is a specialized area within the somatosensory cortex that processes signals from the mystacial whiskers. We investigated the normal development of myelination in the barrel cortex of mice, as well as the effects of sensory deprivation on this pattern. Deprivation was achieved by trimming the whiskers on one side of the face every other day from birth. In control mice, myelin was not present until postnatal day 14 and did not show prominence until postnatal day 30; adult levels of myelination were reached by the end of the second postnatal month. Unbiased stereology was used to estimate axon density in the interbarrel septal region and barrel walls as well as the barrel centers. Myelin was significantly more concentrated in the interbarrel septa/barrel walls than in the barrel centers in both control and sensory-deprived conditions. Sensory deprivation did not impact the onset of myelination but resulted in a significant decrease in myelinated axons in the barrel region and decreased the amount of myelin ensheathing each axon. Visualization of the oligodendrocyte nuclear marker Olig2 revealed a similar pattern of myelin as seen using histochemistry, but with no significant changes in Olig2+ nuclei following sensory deprivation. Consistent with the anatomical results showing less myelination, local field potentials revealed slower rise times following trimming. Our results suggest that myelination develops relatively late and can be influenced by sensory experience.

  4. cTBS delivered to the left somatosensory cortex changes its functional connectivity during rest

    PubMed Central

    Valchev, Nikola; Ćurčić-Blake, Branislava; Renken, Remco J.; Avenanti, Alessio; Keysers, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The primary somatosensory cortex (SI) plays a critical role in somatosensation as well as in action performance and social cognition. Although SI has been a major target of experimental and clinical research using non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), to date information on the effect of TMS over SI on its resting-state functional connectivity is very scant. Here, we explored whether continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS), a repetitive TMS protocol, administered over SI can change the functional connectivity of the brain at rest, as measured using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). In a randomized order on two different days we administered active TMS or sham TMS over the left SI. TMS was delivered off-line before scanning by means of cTBS. The target area was selected previously and individually for each subject as the part of SI activated both when the participant executes and observes actions. Three analytical approaches, both theory driven (partial correlations and seed based whole brain regression) and more data driven (Independent Component Analysis), indicated a reduction in functional connectivity between the stimulated part of SI and several brain regions functionally associated with SI including the dorsal premotor cortex, the cerebellum, basal ganglia, and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings highlight the impact of cTBS delivered over SI on its functional connectivity at rest. Our data may have implications for experimental and therapeutic applications of cTBS over SI. PMID:25882754

  5. Impaired egocentric memory and reduced somatosensory cortex size in temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Weniger, Godehard; Ruhleder, Mirjana; Lange, Claudia; Irle, Eva

    2012-02-01

    Recent research indicates that longstanding temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is associated with extratemporal, i.e. parietal cortex damage. We investigated egocentric and allocentric memory by use of first-person large-scale virtual reality environments in patients with TLE. We expected that TLE patients with parietal cortex damage were impaired in the egocentric memory task. Twenty-two TLE patients with hippocampal sclerosis (HS) and 22 TLE patients without HS were compared with 42 healthy matched controls on two virtual reality tasks affording to learn a virtual park (allocentric memory) and a virtual maze (egocentric memory). Participants further received a neuropsychological investigation and MRI volumetry at the time of the assessment. When compared with controls, TLE patients with HS had significantly reduced size of the ipsilateral and contralateral somatosensory cortex (postcentral gyrus). When compared with controls or TLE patients without HS, TLE patients with HS were severely impaired learning the virtual maze. Considering all participants, smaller volumes of the left-sided postcentral gyrus were related to worse performance on the virtual maze. It is concluded that the paradigm of egocentric navigation and learning in first-person large-scale virtual environments may be a suitable tool to indicate significant extratemporal damage in individuals with TLE. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Precision mapping of the vibrissa representation within murine primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Knutsen, Per M; Mateo, Celine; Kleinfeld, David

    2016-10-05

    The ability to form an accurate map of sensory input to the brain is an essential aspect of interpreting functional brain signals. Here, we consider the somatotopic map of vibrissa-based touch in the primary somatosensory (vS1) cortex of mice. The vibrissae are represented by a Manhattan-like grid of columnar structures that are separated by inter-digitating septa. The development, dynamics and plasticity of this organization is widely used as a model system. Yet, the exact anatomical position of this organization within the vS1 cortex varies between individual mice. Targeting of a particular column in vivo therefore requires prior mapping of the activated cortical region, for instance by imaging the evoked intrinsic optical signal (eIOS) during vibrissa stimulation. Here, we describe a procedure for constructing a complete somatotopic map of the vibrissa representation in the vS1 cortex using eIOS. This enables precise targeting of individual cortical columns. We found, using C57BL/6 mice, that although the precise location of the columnar field varies between animals, the relative spatial arrangement of the columns is highly preserved. This finding enables us to construct a canonical somatotopic map of the vibrissae in the vS1 cortex. In particular, the position of any column, in absolute anatomical coordinates, can be established with near certainty when the functional representations in the vS1 cortex for as few as two vibrissae have been mapped with eIOS.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Whisker Deprivation Drives Two Phases of Inhibitory Synapse Weakening in Layer 4 of Rat Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Gainey, Melanie A; Wolfe, Renna; Pourzia, Olivia; Feldman, Daniel E

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory synapse development in sensory neocortex is experience-dependent, with sustained sensory deprivation yielding fewer and weaker inhibitory synapses. Whether this represents arrest of synapse maturation, or a more complex set of processes, is unclear. To test this, we measured the dynamics of inhibitory synapse development in layer 4 of rat somatosensory cortex (S1) during continuous whisker deprivation from postnatal day 7, and in age-matched controls. In deprived columns, spontaneous miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) and evoked IPSCs developed normally until P15, when IPSC amplitude transiently decreased, recovering by P16 despite ongoing deprivation. IPSCs remained normal until P22, when a second, sustained phase of weakening began. Delaying deprivation onset by 5 days prevented the P15 weakening. Both early and late phase weakening involved measurable reduction in IPSC amplitude relative to prior time points. Thus, deprivation appears to drive two distinct phases of active IPSC weakening, rather than simple arrest of synapse maturation.

  8. Dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells across layers of the juvenile rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Leguey, Ignacio; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; Kastanauskaite, Asta; Rojo, Concepción; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth; DeFelipe, Javier

    2016-09-01

    The characterization of the structural design of cortical microcircuits is essential for understanding how they contribute to function in both health and disease. Since pyramidal neurons represent the most abundant neuronal type and their dendritic spines constitute the major postsynaptic elements of cortical excitatory synapses, our understanding of the synaptic organization of the neocortex largely depends on the available knowledge regarding the structure of pyramidal cells. Previous studies have identified several apparently common rules in dendritic geometry. We study the dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells across layers to further shed light on the principles that determine the geometric shapes of these cells. We find that the dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells from layers II-VI of the juvenile rat somatosensory cortex suggest common design principles, despite the particular morphological and functional features that are characteristic of pyramidal cells in each cortical layer. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2567-2576, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Unit responses of the secondary somatosensory cortex during defensive conditioning in cats.

    PubMed

    Kruchenko, Z A; Taran, G A

    1980-01-01

    Unit responses in the secondary somatosensory cortex during the formation and extinction of a defensive conditioned reflex to acoustic stimulation were investigated in chronic experiments on cats. In 21 of 28 neurons tested during defensive conditioning the firing pattern changed in accordance with the character of responses to electric shock reinforcement. Two types of conditioned-reflex unit responses were distinguished: excitatory and inhibitory. Most neurons responding to the conditioned stimulus by activation did so during the first 50 msec, which was 80-100 msec before the conditioned motor response. Considerable variability of the unit responses was observed during conditioning. By the time of stabilization of the conditioned-reflex connections the unit response to the conditioned stimulus was stable in form. The pattern of extinction of the conditioned unit activity was expressed as a decrease in the discharge frequency in responses of excitatory type and disinhibition of activity in the case of inhibitory responses.

  10. Properties of the primary somatosensory cortex projection to the primary motor cortex in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Petrof, Iraklis; Viaene, Angela N; Sherman, S Murray

    2015-04-01

    The primary somatosensory (S1) and primary motor (M1) cortices are reciprocally connected, and their interaction has long been hypothesized to contribute to coordinated motor output. Very little is known, however, about the nature and synaptic properties of the S1 input to M1. Here we wanted to take advantage of a previously developed sensorimotor slice preparation that preserves much of the S1-to-M1 connectivity (Rocco MM, Brumberg JC. J Neurosci Methods 162: 139-147, 2007), as well as available optogenetic methodologies, in order to investigate the synaptic profile of this projection. Our data show that S1 input to pyramidal cells of M1 is highly homogeneous, possesses many features of a "driver" pathway, such as paired-pulse depression and lack of metabotropic glutamate receptor activation, and is mediated through axons that terminate in both small and large synaptic boutons. Our data suggest that S1 provides M1 with afferents that possess synaptic and anatomical characteristics ideal for the delivery of strong inputs that can "drive" postsynaptic M1 cells, thereby potentially affecting their output.

  11. Stimulation of dural vessels excites the SI somatosensory cortex of the cat via a relay in the thalamus.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Geoffrey A; Hoskin, Karen L; Michalicek, Jan; Panahi, Seyed E; Truong, Linda; Zagami, Alessandro S

    2014-04-01

    We carried out experiments in cats to determine the thalamo-cortical projection sites of trigeminovascular sensory neurons. 1) We stimulated the middle meningeal artery (MMA) with C-fibre intensity electrical shocks and made field potential recordings over the somatosensory cortical surface. 2) We then recorded neurons in the ventroposteromedial (VPM) nucleus of the thalamus in search of neurons which could be activated from the skin, MMA and superior sagittal sinus. 3) Finally, we attempted to antidromically activate the neurons found in stage 2 by stimulating the responsive cortical areas revealed in stage 1. VPM neurons received trigeminovascular input, input from the V1 facial skin and could also be activated by electrical stimulation of the somatosensory cortex. VPM neurons activated from the cortex responded with short and invariant latencies (6.7 ± 7.7 msec mean and SD). They could follow high rates of stimulation and sometimes showed collision with orthodromic action potentials. We conclude that somatosensory (SI) cortical stimulation excites trigeminovascular VPM neurons antidromically. In consequence, these VPM neurons project to the somatosensory cortex. These findings may help to explain the ability of migraineurs with headache in the trigeminal distribution to localise their pain to a particular region in this distribution.

  12. Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation of the primary somatosensory cortex impairs perceptual processing of tactile temporal discrimination.

    PubMed

    Hannula, Henri; Neuvonen, Tuomas; Savolainen, Petri; Tukiainen, Taru; Salonen, Oili; Carlson, Synnöve; Pertovaara, Antti

    2008-05-30

    Previous studies indicate that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with biphasic pulses applied approximately over the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) suppresses performance in vibrotactile temporal discrimination tasks; these previous results, however, do not allow separating perceptual influence from memory or decision-making. Moreover, earlier studies using external landmarks for directing biphasic TMS pulses to the cortex do not reveal whether the changes in vibrotactile task performance were due to action on S1 or an adjacent area. In the present study, we determined whether the S1 area representing a cutaneous test site is critical for perceptual processing of tactile temporal discrimination. Electrical test pulses were applied to the thenar skin of the hand and the subjects attempted to discriminate single from twin pulses. During discrimination task, monophasic TMS pulses or sham TMS pulses were directed anatomically accurately to the S1 area representing the thenar using magnetic resonance image-guided navigation. The subject's capacity to temporal discrimination was impaired with a decrease in the delay between the TMS pulse and the cutaneous test pulse from 50 to 0 ms. The result indicates that S1 area representing a cutaneous test site is involved in perceptual processing of tactile temporal discrimination.

  13. Multi-electrode stimulation in somatosensory cortex increases probability of detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaaimi, Boubker; Ruiz-Torres, Ricardo; Solla, Sara A.; Miller, Lee E.

    2013-10-01

    Objective. Brain machine interfaces (BMIs) that decode control signals from motor cortex have developed tremendously in the past decade, but virtually all rely exclusively on vision to provide feedback. There is now increasing interest in developing an afferent interface to replace natural somatosensation, much as the cochlear implant has done for the sense of hearing. Preliminary experiments toward a somatosensory neuroprosthesis have mostly addressed the sense of touch, but proprioception, the sense of limb position and movement, is also critical for the control of movement. However, proprioceptive areas of cortex lack the precise somatotopy of tactile areas. We showed previously that there is only a weak tendency for neighboring neurons in area 2 to signal similar directions of hand movement. Consequently, stimulation with the relatively large currents used in many studies is likely to activate a rather heterogeneous set of neurons. Approach. Here, we have compared the effect of single-electrode stimulation at subthreshold levels to the effect of stimulating as many as seven electrodes in combination. Main results. We found a mean enhancement in the sensitivity to the stimulus (d‧) of 0.17 for pairs compared to individual electrodes (an increase of roughly 30%), and an increase of 2.5 for groups of seven electrodes (260%). Significance. We propose that a proprioceptive interface made up of several hundred electrodes may yield safer, more effective sensation than a BMI using fewer electrodes and larger currents.

  14. Parallel pathways from motor and somatosensory cortex for controlling whisker movements in mice

    PubMed Central

    Sreenivasan, Varun; Karmakar, Kajari; Rijli, Filippo M; Petersen, Carl C H

    2015-01-01

    Mice can gather tactile sensory information by actively moving their whiskers to palpate objects in their immediate surroundings. Whisker sensory perception therefore requires integration of sensory and motor information, which occurs prominently in the neocortex. The signalling pathways from the neocortex for controlling whisker movements are currently poorly understood in mice. Here, we delineate two pathways, one originating from primary whisker somatosensory cortex (wS1) and the other from whisker motor cortex (wM1), that control qualitatively distinct movements of contralateral whiskers. Optogenetic stimulation of wS1 drove retraction of contralateral whiskers while stimulation of wM1 drove rhythmic whisker protraction. To map brainstem pathways connecting these cortical areas to whisker motor neurons, we used a combination of anterograde tracing using adenoassociated virus injected into neocortex and retrograde tracing using monosynaptic rabies virus injected into whisker muscles. Our data are consistent with wS1 driving whisker retraction by exciting glutamatergic premotor neurons in the rostral spinal trigeminal interpolaris nucleus, which in turn activate the motor neurons innervating the extrinsic retractor muscle nasolabialis. The rhythmic whisker protraction evoked by wM1 stimulation might be driven by excitation of excitatory and inhibitory premotor neurons in the brainstem reticular formation innervating both intrinsic and extrinsic muscles. Our data therefore begin to unravel the neuronal circuits linking the neocortex to whisker motor neurons. PMID:25476605

  15. The interaction of emotion and pain in the insula and secondary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Orenius, Tage I; Raij, Tuukka T; Nuortimo, Antti; Näätänen, Petri; Lipsanen, Jari; Karlsson, Hasse

    2017-03-01

    Pain is processed in a large neural network that partially overlaps structures involved in emotion processing. Despite the fact that pain and emotion are known to share neural regions and interact in numerous clinical conditions, relatively little is known about the interaction of pain and emotion at the neural level. This study on healthy adults aimed to investigate the interaction between negative and positive emotional stimuli and experimental pain in an essential pain processing network. Sixteen healthy young adult subjects were exposed to pictures from the International Affective Picture System with negative, neutral or positive valence, along with laser pain stimuli. The stimuli were pseudo-randomly arranged in three 15-min experiment series comprising 49 stimuli each (picture, laser or simultaneous picture and laser stimuli). The whole-brain blood-oxygen-level dependent signal was acquired using 3T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). As expected, the pain stimulus elicited activation in the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII), insula and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) when compared to the baseline. The interaction of negative emotion and laser stimuli related to the activation of the left SII. The interaction of positive emotion and pain stimuli led to bilateral activation of the SII and left insula. These findings reveal interaction in parts of the pain processing network during simultaneous emotion and physical pain. We demonstrated a valence-independent interaction of emotion and pain in SII.

  16. Interhemispheric Plasticity Protects the Deafferented Somatosensory Cortex from Functional Takeover After Nerve Injury

    PubMed Central

    Koretsky, Alan P.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Functional changes across brain hemispheres have been reported after unilateral cortical or peripheral nerve injury. Interhemispheric callosal connections usually underlie this cortico-cortical plasticity. However, the effect of the altered callosal inputs on local cortical plasticity in the adult brain is not well studied. Ipsilateral functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation has been reliably detected in the deafferented barrel cortex (BC) at 2 weeks after unilateral infraorbital denervation (IO) in adult rats. The ipsilateral fMRI signal relies on callosal-mediated interhemispheric plasticity. This form of interhemispheric plasticity provides a good chronic model to study the interaction between callosal inputs and local cortical plasticity. The receptive field of forepaw in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), which is adjacent to the BC, was mapped with fMRI. The S1 receptive field expanded to take over a portion of the BC in 2 weeks after both ascending inputs and callosal inputs were removed in IO rats with ablated contralateral BC (IO+ablation). This expansion, estimated specifically by fMRI mapping, is significantly larger than what has been observed in the IO rats with intact callosal connectivity, as well as in the rats with sham surgery. This work indicates that altered callosal inputs prevent the functional takeover of the deafferented BC from adjacent cortices and may help preserve the functional identity of the BC. PMID:25117691

  17. Effects of anesthesia on BOLD signal and neuronal activity in the somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Aksenov, Daniil P; Li, Limin; Miller, Michael J; Iordanescu, Gheorghe; Wyrwicz, Alice M

    2015-01-01

    Most functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) animal studies rely on anesthesia, which can induce a variety of drug-dependent physiological changes, including depression of neuronal activity and cerebral metabolism as well as direct effects on the vasculature. The goal of this study was to characterize the effects of anesthesia on the BOLD signal and neuronal activity. Simultaneous fMRI and electrophysiology were used to measure changes in single units (SU), multi-unit activity (MUA), local field potentials (LFP), and the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response in the somatosensory cortex during whisker stimulation of rabbits before, during and after anesthesia with fentanyl or isoflurane. Our results indicate that anesthesia modulates the BOLD signal as well as both baseline and stimulus-evoked neuronal activity, and, most significantly, that the relationship between the BOLD and electrophysiological signals depends on the type of anesthetic. Specifically, the behavior of LFP observed under isoflurane did not parallel the behavior of BOLD, SU, or MUA. These findings suggest that the relationship between these signals may not be straightforward. BOLD may scale more closely with the best measure of the excitatory subcomponents of the underlying neuronal activity, which may vary according to experimental conditions that alter the excitatory/inhibitory balance in the cortex. PMID:26104288

  18. Interhemispheric plasticity protects the deafferented somatosensory cortex from functional takeover after nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xin; Koretsky, Alan P

    2014-11-01

    Functional changes across brain hemispheres have been reported after unilateral cortical or peripheral nerve injury. Interhemispheric callosal connections usually underlie this cortico-cortical plasticity. However, the effect of the altered callosal inputs on local cortical plasticity in the adult brain is not well studied. Ipsilateral functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation has been reliably detected in the deafferented barrel cortex (BC) at 2 weeks after unilateral infraorbital denervation (IO) in adult rats. The ipsilateral fMRI signal relies on callosal-mediated interhemispheric plasticity. This form of interhemispheric plasticity provides a good chronic model to study the interaction between callosal inputs and local cortical plasticity. The receptive field of forepaw in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), which is adjacent to the BC, was mapped with fMRI. The S1 receptive field expanded to take over a portion of the BC in 2 weeks after both ascending inputs and callosal inputs were removed in IO rats with ablated contralateral BC (IO+ablation). This expansion, estimated specifically by fMRI mapping, is significantly larger than what has been observed in the IO rats with intact callosal connectivity, as well as in the rats with sham surgery. This work indicates that altered callosal inputs prevent the functional takeover of the deafferented BC from adjacent cortices and may help preserve the functional identity of the BC.

  19. Developmental alterations in noxious-evoked EEG activity recorded from rat primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Devonshire, I M; Greenspon, C M; Hathway, G J

    2015-10-01

    Primary somatosensory cortex (S1) contains a nociceptive map that localizes potential tissue damage on the body and encodes stimulus intensity. An objective and specific biomarker of pain however is currently lacking and is urgently required for use in non-verbal clinical populations as well as in the validation of pre-clinical pain models. Here we describe studies to see if the responses of the S1 in juvenile rats are different to those in the adult. We recorded electroencephalogram (EEG) responses from S1 of lightly-anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats at either postnatal day 21 or postnatal day 40 during the presentation of noxious (55 °C) or innocuous (30 °C) thermal stimuli applied to the plantar surface of the left hindpaw. The total EEG power across the recording period was the same in both ages after stimulation but the frequency distribution was significantly affected by age. Noxious heat evoked a significant increase in theta band (4-8 Hz) activity in adults only (P<0.0001 compared to baseline; P<0.0001 compared to juveniles). There were no significant differences in EEG responses to innocuous thermal stimuli. These data show that there are significant alterations in the processing of nociceptive inputs within the maturing cortex and that cortical theta activity is involved only in the adult cortical response to noxious stimulation.

  20. Parallel pathways from motor and somatosensory cortex for controlling whisker movements in mice.

    PubMed

    Sreenivasan, Varun; Karmakar, Kajari; Rijli, Filippo M; Petersen, Carl C H

    2015-02-01

    Mice can gather tactile sensory information by actively moving their whiskers to palpate objects in their immediate surroundings. Whisker sensory perception therefore requires integration of sensory and motor information, which occurs prominently in the neocortex. The signalling pathways from the neocortex for controlling whisker movements are currently poorly understood in mice. Here, we delineate two pathways, one originating from primary whisker somatosensory cortex (wS1) and the other from whisker motor cortex (wM1), that control qualitatively distinct movements of contralateral whiskers. Optogenetic stimulation of wS1 drove retraction of contralateral whiskers while stimulation of wM1 drove rhythmic whisker protraction. To map brainstem pathways connecting these cortical areas to whisker motor neurons, we used a combination of anterograde tracing using adenoassociated virus injected into neocortex and retrograde tracing using monosynaptic rabies virus injected into whisker muscles. Our data are consistent with wS1 driving whisker retraction by exciting glutamatergic premotor neurons in the rostral spinal trigeminal interpolaris nucleus, which in turn activate the motor neurons innervating the extrinsic retractor muscle nasolabialis. The rhythmic whisker protraction evoked by wM1 stimulation might be driven by excitation of excitatory and inhibitory premotor neurons in the brainstem reticular formation innervating both intrinsic and extrinsic muscles. Our data therefore begin to unravel the neuronal circuits linking the neocortex to whisker motor neurons.

  1. Quantitative analysis of somatosensory cortex development in eutherians, with a comparison with metatherians and monotremes.

    PubMed

    Ashwell, Ken W S

    2015-01-01

    Extant eutherians exhibit a wide range of adult brain sizes and degree of cortical gyrification. Quantitative analysis of parietal isocortical sections held in museum collections was used to compare the pace of somatosensory cortex development relative to body size and pallial thickness among diverse eutherian embryos, foetuses, and neonates. Analysis indicated that, for most eutherians, cortical plate aggregation begins at about 6-18 mm greatest length or about 120-320 µm pallial thickness. Expansion of the proliferative compartment occurs at a similar pace in most eutherians, but exceptionally rapidly in hominoids. Involution of the pallial proliferative zones occurs over a wide range of body sizes (42 mm to over 500 mm greatest length) or when the cerebral cortex reaches a thickness of 1.2-9.8 mm depending on the eutherian group. Many of these values overlap with those for metatherians. The findings suggest that there is less evolutionary flexibility in the timing of cortical plate aggregation than in the rate of expansion of the pallial proliferative compartment and the duration of proliferative zone activity.

  2. Quantitative analysis of somatosensory cortex development in metatherians and monotremes, with comparison to the laboratory rat.

    PubMed

    Ashwell, Ken W S

    2015-01-01

    Metatherians and monotremes are born in an immature state, followed by prolonged nurturing by maternal lactation. Quantitative analysis of isocortical sections held in the collections at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin was used to compare the pace of somatosensory cortex development relative to body size and pallial thickness between metatherian groups, monotremes, and the laboratory rat. Analysis indicated that the pace of pallial growth in the monotremes is much lower than that in the metatherians or laboratory rat, with an estimated 8.6-fold increase in parietal cortex thickness between 10 and 100 mm body length, compared to a 10- to 20-fold increase among the metatherians and the rat. It was found that aggregation of cortical plate neurons occurs at similar embryo size in the mammals studied (around 8-14 mm body length) and a similar pallial thickness (around 200 µm), but that proliferative zone involution occurs at a much higher body size and pallial thickness in the monotremes compared to the metatherians and the laboratory rat. The observations suggest that cortical development in the monotremes is slower and subject to different regulatory signals to the therians studied. The slow pace may be related to either generally slower metabolism in monotremes or less efficient nutrient supply to the offspring due to the lack of teats.

  3. Rapid-Rate Paired Associative Stimulation over the Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Tsang, Philemon; Bailey, Aaron Z.; Nelson, Aimee J.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid-rate paired associative stimulation (rPAS) involves repeat pairing of peripheral nerve stimulation and Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pulses at a 5 Hz frequency. RPAS over primary motor cortex (M1) operates with spike-timing dependent plasticity such that increases in corticospinal excitability occur when the nerve and TMS pulse temporally coincide in cortex. The present study investigates the effects of rPAS over primary somatosensory cortex (SI) which has not been performed to date. In a series of experiments, rPAS was delivered over SI and M1 at varying timing intervals between the nerve and TMS pulse based on the latency of the N20 somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) component within each participant (intervals for SI-rPAS: N20, N20-2.5 ms, N20 + 2.5 ms, intervals for M1-rPAS: N20, N20+5 ms). Changes in SI physiology were measured via SEPs (N20, P25, N20-P25) and SEP paired-pulse inhibition, and changes in M1 physiology were measured with motor evoked potentials and short-latency afferent inhibition. Measures were obtained before rPAS and at 5, 25 and 45 minutes following stimulation. Results indicate that paired-pulse inhibition and short-latency afferent inhibition were reduced only when the SI-rPAS nerve-TMS timing interval was set to N20-2.5 ms. SI-rPAS over SI also led to remote effects on motor physiology over a wider range of nerve-TMS intervals (N20-2.5 ms – N20+2.5 ms) during which motor evoked potentials were increased. M1-rPAS increased motor evoked potentials and reduced short-latency afferent inhibition as previously reported. These data provide evidence that, similar to M1, rPAS over SI is spike-timing dependent and is capable of exerting changes in SI and M1 physiology. PMID:25799422

  4. Rapid-rate paired associative stimulation over the primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Tsang, Philemon; Bailey, Aaron Z; Nelson, Aimee J

    2015-01-01

    Rapid-rate paired associative stimulation (rPAS) involves repeat pairing of peripheral nerve stimulation and Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pulses at a 5 Hz frequency. RPAS over primary motor cortex (M1) operates with spike-timing dependent plasticity such that increases in corticospinal excitability occur when the nerve and TMS pulse temporally coincide in cortex. The present study investigates the effects of rPAS over primary somatosensory cortex (SI) which has not been performed to date. In a series of experiments, rPAS was delivered over SI and M1 at varying timing intervals between the nerve and TMS pulse based on the latency of the N20 somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) component within each participant (intervals for SI-rPAS: N20, N20-2.5 ms, N20 + 2.5 ms, intervals for M1-rPAS: N20, N20+5 ms). Changes in SI physiology were measured via SEPs (N20, P25, N20-P25) and SEP paired-pulse inhibition, and changes in M1 physiology were measured with motor evoked potentials and short-latency afferent inhibition. Measures were obtained before rPAS and at 5, 25 and 45 minutes following stimulation. Results indicate that paired-pulse inhibition and short-latency afferent inhibition were reduced only when the SI-rPAS nerve-TMS timing interval was set to N20-2.5 ms. SI-rPAS over SI also led to remote effects on motor physiology over a wider range of nerve-TMS intervals (N20-2.5 ms - N20+2.5 ms) during which motor evoked potentials were increased. M1-rPAS increased motor evoked potentials and reduced short-latency afferent inhibition as previously reported. These data provide evidence that, similar to M1, rPAS over SI is spike-timing dependent and is capable of exerting changes in SI and M1 physiology.

  5. Differential Effects of Aging on Fore– and Hindpaw Maps of Rat Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    David-Jürgens, Marianne; Churs, Lydia; Berkefeld, Thomas; Zepka, Roberto F.; Dinse, Hubert R.

    2008-01-01

    Getting older is associated with a decline of cognitive and sensorimotor abilities, but it remains elusive whether age-related changes are due to accumulating degenerational processes, rendering them largely irreversible, or whether they reflect plastic, adaptational and presumably compensatory changes. Using aged rats as a model we studied how aging affects neural processing in somatosensory cortex. By multi-unit recordings in the fore- and hindpaw cortical maps we compared the effects of aging on receptive field size and response latencies. While in aged animals response latencies of neurons of both cortical representations were lengthened by approximately the same amount, only RFs of hindpaw neurons showed severe expansion with only little changes of forepaw RFs. To obtain insight into parallel changes of walking behavior, we recorded footprints in young and old animals which revealed a general age-related impairment of walking. In addition we found evidence for a limb-specific deterioration of the hindlimbs that was not observed in the forelimbs. Our results show that age-related changes of somatosensory cortical neurons display a complex pattern of regional specificity and parameter-dependence indicating that aging acts rather selectively on cortical processing of sensory information. The fact that RFs of the fore- and hindpaws do not co-vary in aged animals argues against degenerational processes on a global scale. We therefore conclude that age-related alterations are composed of plastic-adaptive alterations in response to modified use and degenerational changes developing with age. As a consequence, age-related changes need not be irreversible but can be subject to amelioration through training and stimulation. PMID:18852896

  6. Differential effects of aging on fore- and hindpaw maps of rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    David-Jürgens, Marianne; Churs, Lydia; Berkefeld, Thomas; Zepka, Roberto F; Dinse, Hubert R

    2008-01-01

    Getting older is associated with a decline of cognitive and sensorimotor abilities, but it remains elusive whether age-related changes are due to accumulating degenerational processes, rendering them largely irreversible, or whether they reflect plastic, adaptational and presumably compensatory changes. Using aged rats as a model we studied how aging affects neural processing in somatosensory cortex. By multi-unit recordings in the fore- and hindpaw cortical maps we compared the effects of aging on receptive field size and response latencies. While in aged animals response latencies of neurons of both cortical representations were lengthened by approximately the same amount, only RFs of hindpaw neurons showed severe expansion with only little changes of forepaw RFs. To obtain insight into parallel changes of walking behavior, we recorded footprints in young and old animals which revealed a general age-related impairment of walking. In addition we found evidence for a limb-specific deterioration of the hindlimbs that was not observed in the forelimbs. Our results show that age-related changes of somatosensory cortical neurons display a complex pattern of regional specificity and parameter-dependence indicating that aging acts rather selectively on cortical processing of sensory information. The fact that RFs of the fore- and hindpaws do not co-vary in aged animals argues against degenerational processes on a global scale. We therefore conclude that age-related alterations are composed of plastic-adaptive alterations in response to modified use and degenerational changes developing with age. As a consequence, age-related changes need not be irreversible but can be subject to amelioration through training and stimulation.

  7. Activity of Somatosensory-Responsive Neurons in High Subdivisions of SI Cortex during Locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Favorov, Oleg V.; Nilaweera, Wijitha U.; Miasnikov, Alexandre A.

    2015-01-01

    Responses of neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex during movements are poorly understood, even during such simple tasks as walking on a flat surface. In this study, we analyzed spike discharges of neurons in the rostral bank of the ansate sulcus (areas 1–2) in 2 cats while the cats walked on a flat surface or on a horizontal ladder, a complex task requiring accurate stepping. All neurons (n = 82) that had receptive fields (RFs) on the contralateral forelimb exhibited frequency modulation of their activity that was phase locked to the stride cycle during simple locomotion. Neurons with proximal RFs (upper arm/shoulder) and pyramidal tract-projecting neurons (PTNs) with fast-conducting axons tended to fire at peak rates in the middle of the swing phase, whereas neurons with RFs on the distal limb (wrist/paw) and slow-conducting PTNs typically showed peak firing at the transition between swing and stance phases. Eleven of 12 neurons with tactile RFs on the volar forepaw began firing toward the end of swing, with peak activity occurring at the moment of foot contact with floor, thereby preceding the evoked sensory volley from touch receptors. Requirement to step accurately on the ladder affected 91% of the neurons, suggesting their involvement in control of accuracy of stepping. During both tasks, neurons exhibited a wide variety of spike distributions within the stride cycle, suggesting that, during either simple or ladder locomotion, they represent the cycling somatosensory events in their activity both predictively before and reflectively after these events take place. PMID:25995465

  8. Activity of somatosensory-responsive neurons in high subdivisions of SI cortex during locomotion.

    PubMed

    Favorov, Oleg V; Nilaweera, Wijitha U; Miasnikov, Alexandre A; Beloozerova, Irina N

    2015-05-20

    Responses of neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex during movements are poorly understood, even during such simple tasks as walking on a flat surface. In this study, we analyzed spike discharges of neurons in the rostral bank of the ansate sulcus (areas 1-2) in 2 cats while the cats walked on a flat surface or on a horizontal ladder, a complex task requiring accurate stepping. All neurons (n = 82) that had receptive fields (RFs) on the contralateral forelimb exhibited frequency modulation of their activity that was phase locked to the stride cycle during simple locomotion. Neurons with proximal RFs (upper arm/shoulder) and pyramidal tract-projecting neurons (PTNs) with fast-conducting axons tended to fire at peak rates in the middle of the swing phase, whereas neurons with RFs on the distal limb (wrist/paw) and slow-conducting PTNs typically showed peak firing at the transition between swing and stance phases. Eleven of 12 neurons with tactile RFs on the volar forepaw began firing toward the end of swing, with peak activity occurring at the moment of foot contact with floor, thereby preceding the evoked sensory volley from touch receptors. Requirement to step accurately on the ladder affected 91% of the neurons, suggesting their involvement in control of accuracy of stepping. During both tasks, neurons exhibited a wide variety of spike distributions within the stride cycle, suggesting that, during either simple or ladder locomotion, they represent the cycling somatosensory events in their activity both predictively before and reflectively after these events take place.

  9. Somatosensory Contribution to the Initial Stages of Human Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Bernardi, Nicolò F.; Darainy, Mohammad

    2015-01-01

    The early stages of motor skill acquisition are often marked by uncertainty about the sensory and motor goals of the task, as is the case in learning to speak or learning the feel of a good tennis serve. Here we present an experimental model of this early learning process, in which targets are acquired by exploration and reinforcement rather than sensory error. We use this model to investigate the relative contribution of motor and sensory factors to human motor learning. Participants make active reaching movements or matched passive movements to an unseen target using a robot arm. We find that learning through passive movements paired with reinforcement is comparable with learning associated with active movement, both in terms of magnitude and durability, with improvements due to training still observable at a 1 week retest. Motor learning is also accompanied by changes in somatosensory perceptual acuity. No stable changes in motor performance are observed for participants that train, actively or passively, in the absence of reinforcement, or for participants who are given explicit information about target position in the absence of somatosensory experience. These findings indicate that the somatosensory system dominates learning in the early stages of motor skill acquisition. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The research focuses on the initial stages of human motor learning, introducing a new experimental model that closely approximates the key features of motor learning outside of the laboratory. The finding indicates that it is the somatosensory system rather than the motor system that dominates learning in the early stages of motor skill acquisition. This is important given that most of our computational models of motor learning are based on the idea that learning is motoric in origin. This is also a valuable finding for rehabilitation of patients with limited mobility as it shows that reinforcement in conjunction with passive movement results in benefits to motor

  10. Somatosensory Contribution to the Initial Stages of Human Motor Learning.

    PubMed

    Bernardi, Nicolò F; Darainy, Mohammad; Ostry, David J

    2015-10-21

    The early stages of motor skill acquisition are often marked by uncertainty about the sensory and motor goals of the task, as is the case in learning to speak or learning the feel of a good tennis serve. Here we present an experimental model of this early learning process, in which targets are acquired by exploration and reinforcement rather than sensory error. We use this model to investigate the relative contribution of motor and sensory factors to human motor learning. Participants make active reaching movements or matched passive movements to an unseen target using a robot arm. We find that learning through passive movements paired with reinforcement is comparable with learning associated with active movement, both in terms of magnitude and durability, with improvements due to training still observable at a 1 week retest. Motor learning is also accompanied by changes in somatosensory perceptual acuity. No stable changes in motor performance are observed for participants that train, actively or passively, in the absence of reinforcement, or for participants who are given explicit information about target position in the absence of somatosensory experience. These findings indicate that the somatosensory system dominates learning in the early stages of motor skill acquisition. The research focuses on the initial stages of human motor learning, introducing a new experimental model that closely approximates the key features of motor learning outside of the laboratory. The finding indicates that it is the somatosensory system rather than the motor system that dominates learning in the early stages of motor skill acquisition. This is important given that most of our computational models of motor learning are based on the idea that learning is motoric in origin. This is also a valuable finding for rehabilitation of patients with limited mobility as it shows that reinforcement in conjunction with passive movement results in benefits to motor learning that are as great

  11. Thalamic connections of three representations of the body surface in somatosensory cortex of gray squirrels.

    PubMed

    Krubitzer, L A; Kaas, J H

    1987-11-22

    The anatomical tracer, wheat germ agglutinin, was used to determine the connections of electrophysiologically identified locations in three architectonically distinct representations of the body surface in the somatosensory cortex of gray squirrels. Injections in the first somatosensory area, S-I, revealed reciprocal connections with the ventroposterior nucleus (VP), a portion of the thalamus just dorsomedial to VP, the posterior medial nucleus, Pom, and sometimes the ventroposterior inferior nucleus (VPI). As expected, injections in the representation of the face in S-I resulted in label in ventroposterior medial (VPM), the medial subnucleus of VP, whereas injections in the representation of the body labeled ventroposterior lateral (VPL), the lateral subnucleus of VP. Furthermore, there was evidence from connections that the caudal face and head are represented dorsolaterally in VPM, and the forelimb is represented centrally and medially in VPL. The results also support the conclusion that a representation paralleling that in VP exists in Pom, so that the ventrolateral part of Pom represents the face and the dorsomedial part of Pom is devoted to the body. Because connections with VPI were not consistently revealed, the possibility exists that only some parts or functional modules of S-I are interconnected with VPI. Two separate small representations of the body surface adjoin the caudoventral border of S-I. Both resemble the second somatosensory area, S-II, enough to be identified as S-II in the absence of evidence for the other. We term the more dorsal of the two fields S-II because it was previously defined as S-II in squirrels (Nelson et al., '79), and because it more closely resembles the S-II identified in most other mammals. We refer to the other field as the parietal ventral area, PV (Krubitzer et al, '86). Injections in S-II revealed reciprocal connections with VP, Pom, and a thalamic region lateral and caudal to Pom and dorsal to VP, the posterior lateral

  12. cTBS delivered to the left somatosensory cortex changes its functional connectivity during rest.

    PubMed

    Valchev, Nikola; Ćurčić-Blake, Branislava; Renken, Remco J; Avenanti, Alessio; Keysers, Christian; Gazzola, Valeria; Maurits, Natasha M

    2015-07-01

    The primary somatosensory cortex (SI) plays a critical role in somatosensation as well as in action performance and social cognition. Although the SI has been a major target of experimental and clinical research using non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), to date information on the effect of TMS over the SI on its resting-state functional connectivity is very scant. Here, we explored whether continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS), a repetitive TMS protocol, administered over the SI can change the functional connectivity of the brain at rest, as measured using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). In a randomized order on two different days we administered active TMS or sham TMS over the left SI. TMS was delivered off-line before scanning by means of cTBS. The target area was selected previously and individually for each subject as the part of the SI activated both when the participant executes and observes actions. Three analytical approaches, both theory driven (partial correlations and seed based whole brain regression) and more data driven (Independent Component Analysis), indicated a reduction in functional connectivity between the stimulated part of the SI and several brain regions functionally associated with the SI including the dorsal premotor cortex, the cerebellum, basal ganglia, and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings highlight the impact of cTBS delivered over the SI on its functional connectivity at rest. Our data may have implications for experimental and therapeutic applications of cTBS over the SI. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Neural Coding of Tactile Decisions in the Human Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pleger, Burkhard; Ruff, Christian C.; Blankenburg, Felix; Bestmann, Sven; Wiech, Katja; Stephan, Klaas E.; Capilla, Almudena; Friston, Karl J.; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2009-01-01

    The neural processes underlying tactile decisions in the human brain remain elusive. We addressed this question in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study using a somatosensory discrimination task, requiring participants to compare the frequency of two successive tactile stimuli. Tactile stimuli per se engaged somatosensory, parietal, and frontal cortical regions. Using a statistical model that accounted for the relative difference in frequencies (i.e., Weber fraction) and discrimination accuracy (i.e., correct or incorrect), we show that trial-by-trial relative frequency difference is represented linearly by activity changes in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and bilateral anterior insular cortices. However, a circumscribed region within the left DLPFC showed a different response pattern expressed as activity changes that were monotonically related to relative stimulation difference only for correct but not for incorrect trials. Our findings suggest that activity in the left DLPFC encodes stimulus representations that underlie veridical tactile decisions in humans. PMID:17135421

  14. Meditation reduces pain-related neural activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus

    PubMed Central

    Nakata, Hiroki; Sakamoto, Kiwako; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that meditation inhibits or relieves pain perception. To clarify the underlying mechanisms for this phenomenon, neuroimaging methods, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, and neurophysiological methods, such as magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography, have been used. However, it has been difficult to interpret the results, because there is some paradoxical evidence. For example, some studies reported increased neural responses to pain stimulation during meditation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and insula, whereas others showed a decrease in these regions. There have been inconsistent findings to date. Moreover, in general, since the activities of the ACC and insula are correlated with pain perception, the increase in neural activities during meditation would be related to the enhancement of pain perception rather than its reduction. These contradictions might directly contribute to the ‘mystery of meditation.’ In this review, we presented previous findings for brain regions during meditation and the anatomical changes that occurred in the brain with long-term meditation training. We then discussed the findings of previous studies that examined pain-related neural activity during meditation. We also described the brain mechanisms responsible for pain relief during meditation, and possible reasons for paradoxical evidence among previous studies. By thoroughly overviewing previous findings, we hypothesized that meditation reduces pain-related neural activity in the ACC, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus. We suggest that the characteristics of the modulation of this activity may depend on the kind of meditation and/or number of years of experience of meditation, which were associated with paradoxical findings among previous studies that investigated pain-related neural activities during meditation. PMID:25566158

  15. Task-relevancy effects on movement-related gating are modulated by continuous theta-burst stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Brown, Katlyn E; Ferris, Jennifer K; Amanian, Mohammad A; Staines, W Richard; Boyd, Lara A

    2015-03-01

    Movement-related gating ensures that decreased somatosensory information from external stimulation reaches the cortex during movement when compared to resting levels; however, gating may be influenced by task-relevant manipulations, such that increased sensory information ascends to the cortex when information is relevant to goal-based actions. These task-relevancy effects are hypothesized to be controlled by a network involving the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) based on this region's known role in selective attention, modulating the primary somatosensory cortex (S1). The purpose of the current study was first to verify task-relevancy influences on movement-related gating in the upper limb, and second to test the contribution of the DLPFC and the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) to these relevancy effects. Ten healthy participants received median nerve stimulation at the left wrist during three conditions: rest, task-irrelevant movement, and task-relevant movement. Cortical responses to median nerve stimulations were measured in the form of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). The three conditions were collected on a baseline day and on two separate days following continuous theta-burst (cTBS), which transiently reduces cortical excitability, over either the contralateral S1 or DLPFC. Results demonstrated a significant interaction between stimulation and condition, with a priori contrasts revealing that cTBS over either S1 or DLPFC diminished the relevancy-based modulation of SEP amplitudes; however, the degree of this effect was different. These results indicate that DLPFC influences over S1 are involved in the facilitation of relevant sensory information during movement.

  16. Somatosensory cortex functional connectivity abnormalities in autism show opposite trends, depending on direction and spatial scale

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Sheraz; Michmizos, Konstantinos; Tommerdahl, Mark; Ganesan, Santosh; Kitzbichler, Manfred G.; Zetino, Manuel; Garel, Keri-Lee A.; Herbert, Martha R.; Hämäläinen, Matti S.

    2015-01-01

    Functional connectivity is abnormal in autism, but the nature of these abnormalities remains elusive. Different studies, mostly using functional magnetic resonance imaging, have found increased, decreased, or even mixed pattern functional connectivity abnormalities in autism, but no unifying framework has emerged to date. We measured functional connectivity in individuals with autism and in controls using magnetoencephalography, which allowed us to resolve both the directionality (feedforward versus feedback) and spatial scale (local or long-range) of functional connectivity. Specifically, we measured the cortical response and functional connectivity during a passive 25-Hz vibrotactile stimulation in the somatosensory cortex of 20 typically developing individuals and 15 individuals with autism, all males and right-handed, aged 8–18, and the mu-rhythm during resting state in a subset of these participants (12 per group, same age range). Two major significant group differences emerged in the response to the vibrotactile stimulus. First, the 50-Hz phase locking component of the cortical response, generated locally in the primary (S1) and secondary (S2) somatosensory cortex, was reduced in the autism group (P < 0.003, corrected). Second, feedforward functional connectivity between S1 and S2 was increased in the autism group (P < 0.004, corrected). During resting state, there was no group difference in the mu-α rhythm. In contrast, the mu-β rhythm, which has been associated with feedback connectivity, was significantly reduced in the autism group (P < 0.04, corrected). Furthermore, the strength of the mu-β was correlated to the relative strength of 50 Hz component of the response to the vibrotactile stimulus (r = 0.78, P < 0.00005), indicating a shared aetiology for these seemingly unrelated abnormalities. These magnetoencephalography-derived measures were correlated with two different behavioural sensory processing scores (P < 0.01 and P < 0.02 for the autism

  17. CB1 receptor antagonism in the granular insular cortex or somatosensory area facilitates consolidation of object recognition memory.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Lesley D; Sticht, Martin A; Mitchnick, Krista A; Limebeer, Cheryl L; Parker, Linda A; Winters, Boyer D

    2014-08-22

    Cannabinoid agonists typically impair memory, whereas CB1 receptor antagonists enhance memory performance under specific conditions. The insular cortex has been implicated in object memory consolidation. Here we show that infusions of the CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716 enhances long-term object recognition memory in rats in a dose-dependent manner (facilitation with 1.5, but not 0.75 or 3 μg/μL) when administered into the granular insular cortex; the SR141716 facilitation was seen with a memory delay of 72 h, but not when the delay was shorter (1 h), consistent with enhancement of memory consolidation. Moreover, a sub-group of rats with cannulas placed in the somatosensory area were also facilitated. These results highlight the robust potential of cannabinoid antagonists to facilitate object memory consolidation, as well as the capacity for insular and somatosensory cortices to contribute to object processing, perhaps through enhancement of tactile representation.

  18. Exposure to Music and Noise During Pregnancy Influences Neurogenesis and Thickness in Motor and Somatosensory Cortex of Rat Pups

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Chang-Hee; Lee, Sang-Chul; Shin, Je Wook; Chung, Kyung-Jin; Lee, Shin-Ho; Shin, Mal-Soon; Baek, Sang-Bin; Sung, Yun-Hee; Kim, Chang-Ju

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Prenatal environmental conditions affect the development of the fetus. In the present study, we investigated the effects of exposure to music and noise during pregnancy on neurogenesis and thickness in the motor and somatosensory cortex of rat pups. Methods The pregnant rats in the music-applied group were exposed to 65 dB of comfortable music for 1 hour, once per day, from the 15th day of pregnancy until delivery. The pregnant rats in the noise-applied group were exposed to 95 dB of sound from a supersonic sound machine for 1 hour, once per day, from the 15th day of pregnancy until delivery. After birth, the offspring were left undisturbed together with their mother. The rat pups were sacrificed at 21 days after birth. Results Exposure to music during pregnancy increased neurogenesis in the motor and somatosensory cortex of rat pups. In contrast, rat pups exposed to noise during pregnancy showed decreased neurogenesis and thickness in the motor and somatosensory cortex. Conclusions Our study suggests that music and noise during the developmental period are important factors influencing brain development and urogenital disorders. PMID:24143288

  19. Exposure to music and noise during pregnancy influences neurogenesis and thickness in motor and somatosensory cortex of rat pups.

    PubMed

    Kim, Chang-Hee; Lee, Sang-Chul; Shin, Je Wook; Chung, Kyung-Jin; Lee, Shin-Ho; Shin, Mal-Soon; Baek, Sang-Bin; Sung, Yun-Hee; Kim, Chang-Ju; Kim, Khae-Hawn

    2013-09-01

    Prenatal environmental conditions affect the development of the fetus. In the present study, we investigated the effects of exposure to music and noise during pregnancy on neurogenesis and thickness in the motor and somatosensory cortex of rat pups. The pregnant rats in the music-applied group were exposed to 65 dB of comfortable music for 1 hour, once per day, from the 15th day of pregnancy until delivery. The pregnant rats in the noise-applied group were exposed to 95 dB of sound from a supersonic sound machine for 1 hour, once per day, from the 15th day of pregnancy until delivery. After birth, the offspring were left undisturbed together with their mother. The rat pups were sacrificed at 21 days after birth. Exposure to music during pregnancy increased neurogenesis in the motor and somatosensory cortex of rat pups. In contrast, rat pups exposed to noise during pregnancy showed decreased neurogenesis and thickness in the motor and somatosensory cortex. Our study suggests that music and noise during the developmental period are important factors influencing brain development and urogenital disorders.

  20. Neuron Types in the Presumptive Primary Somatosensory Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Gupta, Kanika; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Hof, Patrick R; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C

    2015-01-01

    Within afrotherians, sirenians are unusual due to their aquatic lifestyle, large body size and relatively large lissencephalic brain. However, little is known about the neuron type distributions of the cerebral cortex in sirenians within the context of other afrotherians and aquatic mammals. The present study investigated two cortical regions, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2), in the presumptive primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to characterize cyto- and chemoarchitecture. The mean neuron density for both cortical regions was 35,617 neurons/mm(3) and fell within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass based on a reference group of afrotherians and xenarthrans. Densities of inhibitory interneuron subtypes labeled against calcium-binding proteins and neuropeptide Y were relatively low compared to afrotherians and xenarthrans and also formed a small percentage of the overall population of inhibitory interneurons as revealed by GAD67 immunoreactivity. Nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein-immunoreactive (NPNFP-ir) neurons comprised a mean of 60% of neurons in layer V across DL1 and CL2. DL1 contained a higher percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons than CL2, although CL2 had a higher variety of morphological types. The mean percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons in the two regions of the presumptive S1 were low compared to other afrotherians and xenarthrans but were within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass, and their morphologies were comparable to those found in other afrotherians and xenarthrans. Although this specific pattern of neuron types and densities sets the manatee apart from other afrotherians and xenarthrans, the manatee isocortex does not appear to be explicitly adapted for an aquatic habitat. Many of the features that are shared between manatees and cetaceans are also shared with a diverse array of terrestrial mammals and likely represent highly conserved

  1. Pulsed infrared light alters neural activity in rat somatosensory cortex in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Cayce, Jonathan M.; Friedman, Robert M.; Jansen, E. Duco; Mahavaden-Jansen, Anita; Roe, Anna W.

    2011-01-01

    Pulsed infrared light has shown promise as an alternative to electrical stimulation in applications where contact free or high spatial precision stimulation are desired. Infrared neural stimulation (INS) is well characterized in the peripheral nervous system; however, to date, research has been limited in the central nervous system. In this study, pulsed infrared light (λ=1.875 μm, pulse width=250 μs, radiant exposure=0.01–0.55 J/cm2, fiber size=400 μm, repetition rate=50–200 Hz) was used to stimulate the somatosensory cortex of anesthetized rats, and its efficacy was assessed using intrinsic optical imaging and electrophysiology techniques. INS was found to evoke an intrinsic response of similar magnitude to that evoked by tactile stimulation (0.3–0.4% change in intrinsic signal magnitude). A maximum deflection in the intrinsic signal was measured to range from 0.05% to 0.4% in response to INS, and the activated region of cortex measured approximately 2 mm in diameter. The intrinsic signal magnitude increased with faster laser repetition rates and increasing radiant exposures. Single unit recordings indicated a statistically significant decrease in neuronal firing that was observed at the onset of INS stimulation (0.5 s stimulus) and continued up to 1 s after stimulation onset. The pattern of neuronal firing differed from that observed during tactile stimulation, potentially due to a different spatial integration field of the pulsed infrared light compared to tactile stimulation. The results demonstrate that INS can be used safely and effectively to manipulate neuronal firing. PMID:21513806

  2. Distribution and morphology of nitrergic neurons across functional domains of the rat primary somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira-Campos, Anaelli A.; Finamore, Deborah M.; Imbiriba, Luis A.; Houzel, Jean C.; Franca, João G.

    2012-01-01

    The rat primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is remarkable for its conspicuous vertical compartmentalization in barrels and septal columns, which are additionally stratified in horizontal layers. Whereas excitatory neurons from each of these compartments perform different types of processing, the role of interneurons is much less clear. Among the numerous types of GABAergic interneurons, those producing nitric oxide (NO) are especially puzzling, since this gaseous messenger can modulate neural activity, synaptic plasticity, and neurovascular coupling. We used a quantitative morphological approach to investigate whether nitrergic interneurons, which might therefore be considered both as NO volume diffusers and as elements of local circuitry, display features that could relate to barrel cortex architecture. In fixed brain sections, nitrergic interneurons can be revealed by histochemical processing for NADPH-diaphorase (NADPHd). Here, the dendritic arbors of nitrergic neurons from different compartments of area S1 were 3D reconstructed from serial 200 μm thick sections, using 100x objective and the Neurolucida system. Standard morphological parameters were extracted for all individual arbors and compared across columns and layers. Wedge analysis was used to compute dendritic orientation indices. Supragranular (SG) layers displayed the highest density of nitrergic neurons, whereas layer IV contained nitrergic neurons with largest soma area. The highest nitrergic neuronal density was found in septa, where dendrites were previously characterized as more extense and ramified than in barrels. Dendritic arbors were not confined to the boundaries of the column nor layer of their respective soma, being mostly double-tufted and vertically oriented, except in SG layers. These data strongly suggest that nitrergic interneurons adapt their morphology to the dynamics of processing performed by cortical compartments. PMID:23133407

  3. Thalamic adenylyl cyclase 1 is required for barrel formation in the somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, A; Lee, L-J; Hayashi, Y; Muglia, L; Itohara, S; Erzurumlu, R S; Iwasato, T

    2015-04-02

    Cyclic AMP signaling is critical for activity-dependent refinement of neuronal circuits. Global disruption of adenylyl cyclase 1 (AC1), the major calcium/calmodulin-stimulated adenylyl cyclase in the brain, impairs formation of whisker-related discrete neural modules (the barrels) in cortical layer 4 in mice. Since AC1 is expressed both in the thalamus and the neocortex, the question of whether pre- or postsynaptic (or both) AC1 plays a role in barrel formation has emerged. Previously, we generated cortex-specific AC1 knockout (Cx-AC1KO) mice and found that these animals develop histologically normal barrels, suggesting a potentially more prominent role for thalamic AC1 in barrel formation. To determine this, we generated three new lines of mice: one in which AC1 is disrupted in nearly half of the thalamic ventrobasal nucleus cells in addition to the cortical excitatory neurons (Cx/pTh-AC1KO mouse), and another in which AC1 is disrupted in the thalamus but not in the cortex or brainstem nuclei of the somatosensory system (Th-AC1KO mouse). Cx/pTh-AC1KO mice show severe deficits in barrel formation. Th-AC1KO mice show even more severe disruption in barrel patterning. In these two lines, single thalamocortical (TC) axon labeling revealed a larger lateral extent of TC axons in layer 4 compared to controls. In the third line, all calcium-stimulated adenylyl cyclases (both AC1 and AC8) are deleted in cortical excitatory neurons. These mice have normal barrels. Taken together, these results indicate that thalamic AC1 plays a major role in patterning and refinement of the mouse TC circuitry.

  4. A Recurrent Network Model of Somatosensory Parametric Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Paul; Brody, Carlos D; Romo, Ranulfo; Wang, Xiao-Jing

    2015-01-01

    A parametric working memory network stores the information of an analog stimulus in the form of persistent neural activity that is monotonically tuned to the stimulus. The family of persistent firing patterns with a continuous range of firing rates must all be realizable under exactly the same external conditions (during the delay when the transient stimulus is withdrawn). How this can be accomplished by neural mechanisms remains an unresolved question. Here we present a recurrent cortical network model of irregularly spiking neurons that was designed to simulate a somatosensory working memory experiment with behaving monkeys. Our model reproduces the observed positively and negatively monotonic persistent activity, and heterogeneous tuning curves of memory activity. We show that fine-tuning mathematically corresponds to a precise alignment of cusps in the bifurcation diagram of the network. Moreover, we show that the fine-tuned network can integrate stimulus inputs over several seconds. Assuming that such time integration occurs in neural populations downstream from a tonically persistent neural population, our model is able to account for the slow ramping-up and ramping-down behaviors of neurons observed in prefrontal cortex. PMID:14576212

  5. Exploring neuro-vascular and neuro-metabolic coupling in rat somatosensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mesquita, R. C.; Huppert, T. J.; Boas, D. A.

    2009-01-01

    The existence of a coupling between changes in neuronal activity, cerebral blood flow and blood oxygenation is well known. The explicit relationship between these systems, however, is complex and remains a subject of intense research. Here, we use direct electrophysiological recordings to predict blood flow and oxygenation changes measured with optical methods during parametric stimulation applied to the somatosensory cortex in rat brain. Using a multimodal model of the cerebral functional unit, we estimate a neuro-vascular and a neuro-metabolic transfer function relating the experimentally measured neural responses with the inputs to a vascular model predicting hemodynamic and blood oxygenation changes. We show that our model can accurately predict experimentally measured parametric hemodynamic evoked responses by using a single linear transfer function relationship with a reduced number of state parameters to relate the level of neural activity to evoked cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism changes. At the same time, we characterize the metabolic and vascular neural response functions and interpret their physiological significance.

  6. Receptive Field Properties of the Macaque Second Somatosensory Cortex: Evidence for Multiple Functional Representations

    PubMed Central

    Fitzgerald, Paul J.; Lane, John W.; Thakur, Pramodsingh H.; Hsiao, Steven S.

    2007-01-01

    The detailed functional organization of the macaque second somatosensory cortex (SII) is not well understood. Here we report the results of a study of the functional organization of the SII hand region that combines microelectrode mapping using hand-held stimuli with single-unit recordings using a motorized, computer-controlled tactile oriented bar. The data indicate that the SII hand region extends ~10 mm in the anteroposterior (AP) dimension, primarily within the upper bank of the lateral sulcus. Furthermore, we find evidence that this region consists of multiple functional fields, with a central field containing neurons that are driven well by cutaneous stimuli, flanked by an anterior field and a posterior field that each contain neurons that are driven well by proprioceptive stimuli and less well by cutaneous stimuli. The anterior field extends ~4 –5 mm AP, the central field extends ~3– 4 mm, and the posterior field extends ~3 mm. Data from the motorized stimulator indicate that neurons in the central field are more responsive to oriented bars, more frequently exhibit orientation tuning, and have larger receptive fields than neurons in the anterior and posterior fields. We speculate that the three putative fields play different functional roles in tactile perception; the anterior and posterior fields process information that involves both proprioceptive and cutaneous input such as sensorimotor integration or stereognosis, whereas the central field processes primarily cutaneous information. PMID:15590936

  7. Intrinsic Signal Imaging of Deprivation-Induced Contraction of Whisker Representations in Rat Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Drew, Patrick J.

    2009-01-01

    In classical sensory cortical map plasticity, the representation of deprived or underused inputs contracts within cortical sensory maps, whereas spared inputs expand. Expansion of spared inputs occurs preferentially into nearby cortical columns representing temporally correlated spared inputs, suggesting that expansion involves correlation-based learning rules at cross-columnar synapses. It is unknown whether deprived representations contract in a similar anisotropic manner, which would implicate similar learning rules and sites of plasticity. We briefly deprived D-row whiskers in 20-day-old rats, so that each deprived whisker had deprived (D-row) and spared (C- and E-row) neighbors. Intrinsic signal optical imaging revealed that D-row deprivation weakened and contracted the functional representation of deprived D-row whiskers in L2/3 of somatosensory (S1) cortex. Spared whisker representations did not strengthen or expand, indicating that D-row deprivation selectively engages the depression component of map plasticity. Contraction of deprived whisker representations was spatially uniform, with equal withdrawal from spared and deprived neighbors. Single-unit electrophysiological recordings confirmed these results, and showed substantial weakening of responses to deprived whiskers in layer 2/3 of S1, and modest weakening in L4. The observed isotropic contraction of deprived whisker representations during D-row deprivation is consistent with plasticity at intracolumnar, rather than cross-columnar, synapses. PMID:18515797

  8. Laminar Differences in Dendritic Structure of Pyramidal Neurons in the Juvenile Rat Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Rojo, Concepción; Leguey, Ignacio; Kastanauskaite, Asta; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth

    2016-06-01

    Pyramidal cell structure varies between different cortical areas and species, indicating that the cortical circuits that these cells participate in are likely to be characterized by different functional capabilities. Structural differences between cortical layers have been traditionally reported using either the Golgi method or intracellular labeling, but the structure of pyramidal cells has not previously been systematically analyzed across all cortical layers at a particular age. In the present study, we investigated the dendritic architecture of complete basal arbors of pyramidal neurons in layers II, III, IV, Va, Vb, and VI of the hindlimb somatosensory cortical region of postnatal day 14 rats. We found that the characteristics of basal dendritic morphologies are statistically different in each cortical layer. The variations in size and branching pattern that exist between pyramidal cells of different cortical layers probably reflect the particular functional properties that are characteristic of the cortical circuit in which they participate. This new set of complete basal dendritic arbors of 3D-reconstructed pyramidal cell morphologies across each cortical layer will provide new insights into interlaminar information processing in the cerebral cortex. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  9. Morphology and physiology of excitatory neurons in layer 6b of the somatosensory rat barrel cortex.

    PubMed

    Marx, Manuel; Feldmeyer, Dirk

    2013-12-01

    Neocortical lamina 6B (L6B) is a largely unexplored layer with a very heterogeneous cellular composition. To date, only little is known about L6B neurons on a systematic and quantitative basis. We investigated the morphological and electrophysiological properties of excitatory L6B neurons in the rat somatosensory barrel cortex using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and simultaneous biocytin fillings. Subsequent histological processing and computer-assisted 3D reconstructions provided the basis for a classification of excitatory L6B neurons according to their structural and functional characteristics. Three distinct clusters of excitatory L6B neurons were identified: (C1) pyramidal neurons with an apical dendrite pointing towards the pial surface, (C2) neurons with a prominent, "apical"-like dendrite not oriented towards the pia, and (C3) multipolar spiny neurons without any preferential dendritic orientation. The second group could be further subdivided into three categories termed inverted, "tangentially" oriented and "horizontally" oriented neurons. Furthermore, based on the axonal domain two subcategories of L6B pyramidal cells were identified that had either a more barrel-column confined or an extended axonal field. The classification of excitatory L6B neurons provided here may serve as a basis for future studies on the structure, function, and synaptic connectivity of L6B neurons.

  10. Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation of primary somatosensory cortex on vibrotactile detection and discrimination.

    PubMed

    Labbé, Sara; Meftah, El-Mehdi; Chapman, C Elaine

    2016-04-01

    Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) of primary somatosensory cortex (S1) has been shown to enhance tactile spatial acuity, but there is little information as to the underlying neuronal mechanisms. We examined vibrotactile perception on the distal phalanx of the middle finger before, during, and after contralateral S1 tDCS [a-, cathodal (c)-, and sham (s)-tDCS]. The experiments tested our shift-gain hypothesis, which predicted that a-tDCS would decrease vibrotactile detection and discrimination thresholds (leftward shift of the stimulus-response function with increased gain/slope) relative to s-tDCS, whereas c-tDCS would have the opposite effects (relative to s-tDCS). The results showed that weak a-tDCS (1 mA, 20 min) led to a reduction in both vibrotactile detection and discrimination thresholds to 73-76% of baseline during the application of the stimulation in subjects categorized as responders. These effects persisted after the end of a-tDCS but were absent 30 min later. Most, but not all, subjects showed a decrease in threshold (8/12 for detection; 9/12 for discrimination). Intersubject variability was explained by a ceiling effect in the discrimination task. c-tDCS had no significant effect on either detection or discrimination threshold. Taken together, our results supported our shift-gain hypothesis for a-tDCS but not c-tDCS.

  11. Laminar Differences in Dendritic Structure of Pyramidal Neurons in the Juvenile Rat Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Rojo, Concepción; Leguey, Ignacio; Kastanauskaite, Asta; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    Pyramidal cell structure varies between different cortical areas and species, indicating that the cortical circuits that these cells participate in are likely to be characterized by different functional capabilities. Structural differences between cortical layers have been traditionally reported using either the Golgi method or intracellular labeling, but the structure of pyramidal cells has not previously been systematically analyzed across all cortical layers at a particular age. In the present study, we investigated the dendritic architecture of complete basal arbors of pyramidal neurons in layers II, III, IV, Va, Vb, and VI of the hindlimb somatosensory cortical region of postnatal day 14 rats. We found that the characteristics of basal dendritic morphologies are statistically different in each cortical layer. The variations in size and branching pattern that exist between pyramidal cells of different cortical layers probably reflect the particular functional properties that are characteristic of the cortical circuit in which they participate. This new set of complete basal dendritic arbors of 3D-reconstructed pyramidal cell morphologies across each cortical layer will provide new insights into interlaminar information processing in the cerebral cortex. PMID:26762857

  12. Optical Coherence Tomography angiography reveals laminar microvascular hemodynamics in the rat somatosensory cortex during activation.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Vivek J; Radhakrishnan, Harsha

    2014-11-15

    The BOLD (blood-oxygen-level dependent) fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) signal is shaped, in part, by changes in red blood cell (RBC) content and flow across vascular compartments over time. These complex dynamics have been challenging to characterize directly due to a lack of appropriate imaging modalities. In this study, making use of infrared light scattering from RBCs, depth-resolved Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) angiography was applied to image laminar functional hyperemia in the rat somatosensory cortex. After defining and validating depth-specific metrics for changes in RBC content and speed, laminar hemodynamic responses in microvasculature up to cortical depths of >1mm were measured during a forepaw stimulus. The results provide a comprehensive picture of when and where changes in RBC content and speed occur during and immediately following cortical activation. In summary, the earliest and largest microvascular RBC content changes occurred in the middle cortical layers, while post-stimulus undershoots were most prominent superficially. These laminar variations in positive and negative responses paralleled known distributions of excitatory and inhibitory synapses, suggesting neuronal underpinnings. Additionally, the RBC speed response consistently returned to baseline more promptly than RBC content after the stimulus across cortical layers, supporting a "flow-volume mismatch" of hemodynamic origin.

  13. Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation of primary somatosensory cortex on vibrotactile detection and discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Labbé, Sara; Meftah, El-Mehdi

    2016-01-01

    Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) of primary somatosensory cortex (S1) has been shown to enhance tactile spatial acuity, but there is little information as to the underlying neuronal mechanisms. We examined vibrotactile perception on the distal phalanx of the middle finger before, during, and after contralateral S1 tDCS [a-, cathodal (c)-, and sham (s)-tDCS]. The experiments tested our shift-gain hypothesis, which predicted that a-tDCS would decrease vibrotactile detection and discrimination thresholds (leftward shift of the stimulus-response function with increased gain/slope) relative to s-tDCS, whereas c-tDCS would have the opposite effects (relative to s-tDCS). The results showed that weak a-tDCS (1 mA, 20 min) led to a reduction in both vibrotactile detection and discrimination thresholds to 73–76% of baseline during the application of the stimulation in subjects categorized as responders. These effects persisted after the end of a-tDCS but were absent 30 min later. Most, but not all, subjects showed a decrease in threshold (8/12 for detection; 9/12 for discrimination). Intersubject variability was explained by a ceiling effect in the discrimination task. c-tDCS had no significant effect on either detection or discrimination threshold. Taken together, our results supported our shift-gain hypothesis for a-tDCS but not c-tDCS. PMID:26864757

  14. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the Primary Somatosensory Cortex Modulates Perception of the Tendon Vibration Illusion.

    PubMed

    Huh, D C; Lee, J M; Oh, S M; Lee, J-H; Van Donkelaar, P; Lee, D H

    2016-10-01

    The effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on kinesthetic perception, when applied to the somatosensory cortex, was examined. Further, the facilitatory and inhibitory effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation using different stimulation frequencies were tested. Six female (M age = 32.0 years, SD = 6.7) and nine male (M age = 32.9 years, SD = 6.6) participants were asked to perceive the tendon vibration illusion of the left wrist joint and to replicate the illusion with their right hand. When comparing changes in the corresponding movement amplitude and velocity after three different repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation protocols (sham, 1 Hz inhibitory, and 5 Hz facilitatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation), the movement amplitude was found to decrease with the inhibitory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, while the movement velocity respectively increased and decreased with the facilitatory and inhibitory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. These results confirmed the modulating effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on kinesthetic perception in a single experimental paradigm.

  15. Somatosensory Cortex Plays an Essential Role in Forelimb Motor Adaptation in Mice.

    PubMed

    Mathis, Mackenzie Weygandt; Mathis, Alexander; Uchida, Naoshige

    2017-03-22

    Our motor outputs are constantly re-calibrated to adapt to systematic perturbations. This motor adaptation is thought to depend on the ability to form a memory of a systematic perturbation, often called an internal model. However, the mechanisms underlying the formation, storage, and expression of such models remain unknown. Here, we developed a mouse model to study forelimb adaptation to force field perturbations. We found that temporally precise photoinhibition of somatosensory cortex (S1) applied concurrently with the force field abolished the ability to update subsequent motor commands needed to reduce motor errors. This S1 photoinhibition did not impair basic motor patterns, post-perturbation completion of the action, or their performance in a reward-based learning task. Moreover, S1 photoinhibition after partial adaptation blocked further adaptation, but did not affect the expression of already-adapted motor commands. Thus, S1 is critically involved in updating the memory about the perturbation that is essential for forelimb motor adaptation.

  16. Whisker Deprivation Drives Two Phases of Inhibitory Synapse Weakening in Layer 4 of Rat Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pourzia, Olivia; Feldman, Daniel E.

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory synapse development in sensory neocortex is experience-dependent, with sustained sensory deprivation yielding fewer and weaker inhibitory synapses. Whether this represents arrest of synapse maturation, or a more complex set of processes, is unclear. To test this, we measured the dynamics of inhibitory synapse development in layer 4 of rat somatosensory cortex (S1) during continuous whisker deprivation from postnatal day 7, and in age-matched controls. In deprived columns, spontaneous miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) and evoked IPSCs developed normally until P15, when IPSC amplitude transiently decreased, recovering by P16 despite ongoing deprivation. IPSCs remained normal until P22, when a second, sustained phase of weakening began. Delaying deprivation onset by 5 days prevented the P15 weakening. Both early and late phase weakening involved measurable reduction in IPSC amplitude relative to prior time points. Thus, deprivation appears to drive two distinct phases of active IPSC weakening, rather than simple arrest of synapse maturation. PMID:26840956

  17. Modulatory effects of 5Hz rTMS over the primary somatosensory cortex in focal dystonia--an fMRI-TMS study.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Susanne A; Pleger, Burkhard; Draganski, Bogdan; Cordivari, Carla; Rothwell, John C; Bhatia, Kailash P; Dolan, Ray J

    2010-01-15

    Dystonia is associated with impaired somatosensory ability. The electrophysiological method of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can be used for noninvasive stimulation of the human cortex and can alter cortical excitability and associated behavior. Among others, rTMS can alter/improve somatosensory discrimation abilities, as shown in healthy controls. We applied 5Hz-rTMS over the left primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in 5 patients with right-sided writer's dystonia and 5 controls. We studied rTMS effects on tactile discrimination accuracy and concomitant rTMS-induced changes in hemodynamic activity measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Before rTMS, patients performed worse on the discrimination task than controls even though fMRI showed greater task-related activation bilaterally in the basal ganglia (BG). In controls, rTMS led to improved discrimination; fMRI revealed this was associated with increased activity of the stimulated S1, bilateral premotor cortex and BG. In dystonia patients, rTMS had no effect on discrimination; fMRI showed similar cortical effects to controls except for no effects in BG. Improved discrimination after rTMS in controls is linked to enhanced activation of S1 and BG. Failure of rTMS to increase BG activation in dystonia may be associated with the lack of effect on sensory discrimination in this group and may reflect impaired processing in BG-S1 connections. Alternatively, the increased BG activation seen in the baseline state without rTMS may reflect a compensatory strategy that saturates a BG contribution to this task.

  18. Age-related changes in primary somatosensory cortex of rats: evidence for parallel degenerative and plastic-adaptive processes.

    PubMed

    Godde, Ben; Berkefeld, Thomas; David-Jürgens, Marianne; Dinse, Hubert R

    2002-11-01

    Aged rats show a characteristic decline of the sensorimotor state, most strikingly expressed in an impairment of the hindlimbs leading to significantly reduced sensory stimulation on the hindpaw. We review recent studies using optical imaging and electrophysiological recordings to investigate the effects of aging on somatosensory cortex and to identify age-related changes in terms of degeneration or plastic adaptation. For the cortical hindpaw representation, reduction of map size, receptive field enlargement and reduced response strength were described. None of these changes were reported in the forepaw representation in the same individual, however, in both the fore-and hindpaw representations response latencies and cerebral blood flow were affected. Changes of latencies and blood flow are best explained by degeneration, but the regional and specific changes of maps, receptive fields and response strength by plastic phenomena arising from the reduced sensory inputs. While the degenerative changes are not modifiable by enriched environmental conditions or application of Ca(2+) blocker, the plastic changes were fully reversible under these conditions. We discuss the implications of these findings for cognitive functions at old age and possible treatments of age-related changes in human subjects.

  19. The primary somatosensory cortex and the insula contribute differently to the processing of transient and sustained nociceptive and non-nociceptive somatosensory inputs.

    PubMed

    Hu, Li; Zhang, Li; Chen, Rui; Yu, Hongbo; Li, Hong; Mouraux, André

    2015-11-01

    Transient nociceptive stimuli elicit consistent brain responses in the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices (S1, S2), the insula and the anterior and mid-cingulate cortex (ACC/MCC). However, the functional significance of these responses, especially their relationship with sustained pain perception, remains largely unknown. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we characterize the differential involvement of these brain regions in the processing of sustained nociceptive and non-nociceptive somatosensory input. By comparing the spatial patterns of activity elicited by transient (0.5 ms) and long-lasting (15 and 30 s) stimuli selectively activating nociceptive or non-nociceptive afferents, we found that the contralateral S1 responded more strongly to the onset of non-nociceptive stimulation as compared to the onset of nociceptive stimulation and the sustained phases of nociceptive and non-nociceptive stimulation. Similarly, the anterior insula responded more strongly to the onset of nociceptive stimulation as compared to the onset of non-nociceptive stimulation and the sustained phases of nociceptive and non-nociceptive stimulation. This suggests that S1 is specifically sensitive to changes in incoming non-nociceptive input, whereas the anterior insula is specifically sensitive to changes in incoming nociceptive input. Second, we found that the MCC responded more strongly to the onsets as compared to the sustained phases of both nociceptive and non-nociceptive stimulation, suggesting that it could be involved in the detection of change regardless of sensory modality. Finally, the posterior insula and S2 responded maximally during the sustained phase of non-nociceptive stimulation but not nociceptive stimulation, suggesting that these regions are preferentially involved in processing non-nociceptive somatosensory input.

  20. Reduced resting-state functional connectivity of the somatosensory cortex predicts psychopathological symptoms in women with bulimia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Lavagnino, Luca; Amianto, Federico; D'Agata, Federico; Huang, Zirui; Mortara, Paolo; Abbate-Daga, Giovanni; Marzola, Enrica; Spalatro, Angela; Fassino, Secondo; Northoff, Georg

    2014-01-01

    Alterations in the resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) of several brain networks have been demonstrated in eating disorders. However, very few studies are currently available on brain network dysfunctions in bulimia nervosa (BN). The somatosensory network is central in processing body-related stimuli and it may be altered in BN. The present study therefore aimed to investigate rs-FC in the somatosensory network in bulimic women. Sixteen medication-free women with BN (age = 23 ± 5 years) and 18 matched controls (age = 23 ± 3 years) underwent a functional magnetic resonance resting-state scan and assessment of eating disorder symptoms. Within-network and seed-based functional connectivity analyses were conducted to assess rs-FC within the somatosensory network and to other areas of the brain. Bulimia nervosa patients showed a decreased rs-FC both within the somatosensory network (t = 9.0, df = 1, P = 0.005) and with posterior cingulate cortex and two visual areas (the right middle occipital gyrus and the right cuneus) (P = 0.05 corrected for multiple comparison). The rs-FC of the left paracentral lobule with the right middle occipital gyrus correlated with psychopathology measures like bulimia (r = -0.4; P = 0.02) and interoceptive awareness (r = -0.4; P = 0.01). Analyses were conducted using age, BMI (body mass index), and depressive symptoms as covariates. Our findings show a specific alteration of the rs-FC of the somatosensory cortex in BN patients, which correlates with eating disorder symptoms. The region in the right middle occipital gyrus is implicated in body processing and is known as extrastriate body area (EBA). The connectivity between the somatosensory cortex and the EBA might be related to dysfunctions in body image processing. The results should be considered preliminary due to the small sample size.

  1. Reduced Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Somatosensory Cortex Predicts Psychopathological Symptoms in Women with Bulimia Nervosa

    PubMed Central

    Lavagnino, Luca; Amianto, Federico; D’Agata, Federico; Huang, Zirui; Mortara, Paolo; Abbate-Daga, Giovanni; Marzola, Enrica; Spalatro, Angela; Fassino, Secondo; Northoff, Georg

    2014-01-01

    Background: Alterations in the resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) of several brain networks have been demonstrated in eating disorders. However, very few studies are currently available on brain network dysfunctions in bulimia nervosa (BN). The somatosensory network is central in processing body-related stimuli and it may be altered in BN. The present study therefore aimed to investigate rs-FC in the somatosensory network in bulimic women. Methods: Sixteen medication-free women with BN (age = 23 ± 5 years) and 18 matched controls (age = 23 ± 3 years) underwent a functional magnetic resonance resting-state scan and assessment of eating disorder symptoms. Within-network and seed-based functional connectivity analyses were conducted to assess rs-FC within the somatosensory network and to other areas of the brain. Results: Bulimia nervosa patients showed a decreased rs-FC both within the somatosensory network (t = 9.0, df = 1, P = 0.005) and with posterior cingulate cortex and two visual areas (the right middle occipital gyrus and the right cuneus) (P = 0.05 corrected for multiple comparison). The rs-FC of the left paracentral lobule with the right middle occipital gyrus correlated with psychopathology measures like bulimia (r = −0.4; P = 0.02) and interoceptive awareness (r = −0.4; P = 0.01). Analyses were conducted using age, BMI (body mass index), and depressive symptoms as covariates. Conclusion: Our findings show a specific alteration of the rs-FC of the somatosensory cortex in BN patients, which correlates with eating disorder symptoms. The region in the right middle occipital gyrus is implicated in body processing and is known as extrastriate body area (EBA). The connectivity between the somatosensory cortex and the EBA might be related to dysfunctions in body image processing. The results should be considered preliminary due to the small sample size. PMID:25136302

  2. Primary somatosensory cortex necessary for the perception of weight from other people's action: A continuous theta-burst TMS experiment.

    PubMed

    Valchev, Nikola; Tidoni, Emmanuele; Hamilton, Antonia F de C; Gazzola, Valeria; Avenanti, Alessio

    2017-02-28

    The presence of a network of areas in the parietal and premotor cortices, which are active both during action execution and observation, suggests that we might understand the actions of other people by activating those motor programs for making similar actions. Although neurophysiological and imaging studies show an involvement of the somatosensory cortex (SI) during action observation and execution, it is unclear whether SI is essential for understanding the somatosensory aspects of observed actions. To address this issue, we used off-line transcranial magnetic continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) just before a weight judgment task. Participants observed the right hand of an actor lifting a box and estimated its relative weight. In counterbalanced sessions, we delivered sham and active cTBS over the hand region of the left SI and, to test anatomical specificity, over the left motor cortex (M1) and the left superior parietal lobule (SPL). Active cTBS over SI, but not over M1 or SPL, impaired task performance relative to sham cTBS. Moreover, active cTBS delivered over SI just before participants were asked to evaluate the weight of a bouncing ball did not alter performance compared to sham cTBS. These findings indicate that SI is critical for extracting somatosensory features (heavy/light) from observed action kinematics and suggest a prominent role of SI in action understanding.

  3. The Tactile Window to Consciousness is Characterized by Frequency-Specific Integration and Segregation of the Primary Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Frey, Julia Natascha; Ruhnau, Philipp; Leske, Sabine; Siegel, Markus; Braun, Christoph; Weisz, Nathan

    2016-02-11

    We recently proposed that besides levels of local cortical excitability, also distinct pre-stimulus network states (windows to consciousness) determine whether a near-threshold stimulus will be consciously perceived. In the present magnetoencephalography study, we scrutinised these pre-stimulus network states with a focus on the primary somatosensory cortex. For this purpose participants performed a simple near-threshold tactile detection task. Confirming previous studies, we found reduced alpha and beta power in the somatosensory region contralateral to stimulation prior to correct stimulus detection as compared to undetected stimuli, and stronger event-related responses following successful stimulus detection. As expected, using graph theoretical measures, we also observed modulated pre-stimulus network level integration. Specifically, the right primary somatosensory cortex contralateral to stimulation showed an increased integration in the theta band, and additionally, a decreased integration in the beta band. Overall, these results underline the importance of network states for enabling conscious perception. Moreover, they indicate that also a reduction of irrelevant functional connections contributes to the window to consciousness by tuning pre-stimulus pathways of information flow.

  4. Wiring Economy of Pyramidal Cells in the Juvenile Rat Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Anton-Sanchez, Laura; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; DeFelipe, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Ever since Cajal hypothesized that the structure of neurons is designed in such a way as to save space, time and matter, numerous researchers have analyzed wiring properties at different scales of brain organization. Here we test the hypothesis that individual pyramidal cells, the most abundant type of neuron in the cerebral cortex, optimize brain connectivity in terms of wiring length. In this study, we analyze the neuronal wiring of complete basal arborizations of pyramidal neurons in layer II, III, IV, Va, Vb and VI of the hindlimb somatosensory cortical region of postnatal day 14 rats. For each cell, we search for the optimal basal arborization and compare its length with the length of the real dendritic structure. Here the optimal arborization is defined as the arborization that has the shortest total wiring length provided that all neuron bifurcations are respected and the extent of the dendritic arborizations remain unchanged. We use graph theory and evolutionary computation techniques to search for the minimal wiring arborizations. Despite morphological differences between pyramidal neurons located in different cortical layers, we found that the neuronal wiring is near-optimal in all cases (the biggest difference between the shortest synthetic wiring found for a dendritic arborization and the length of its real wiring was less than 5%). We found, however, that the real neuronal wiring was significantly closer to the best solution found in layers II, III and IV. Our studies show that the wiring economy of cortical neurons is related not to the type of neurons or their morphological complexities but to general wiring economy principles.

  5. Wiring Economy of Pyramidal Cells in the Juvenile Rat Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; DeFelipe, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Ever since Cajal hypothesized that the structure of neurons is designed in such a way as to save space, time and matter, numerous researchers have analyzed wiring properties at different scales of brain organization. Here we test the hypothesis that individual pyramidal cells, the most abundant type of neuron in the cerebral cortex, optimize brain connectivity in terms of wiring length. In this study, we analyze the neuronal wiring of complete basal arborizations of pyramidal neurons in layer II, III, IV, Va, Vb and VI of the hindlimb somatosensory cortical region of postnatal day 14 rats. For each cell, we search for the optimal basal arborization and compare its length with the length of the real dendritic structure. Here the optimal arborization is defined as the arborization that has the shortest total wiring length provided that all neuron bifurcations are respected and the extent of the dendritic arborizations remain unchanged. We use graph theory and evolutionary computation techniques to search for the minimal wiring arborizations. Despite morphological differences between pyramidal neurons located in different cortical layers, we found that the neuronal wiring is near-optimal in all cases (the biggest difference between the shortest synthetic wiring found for a dendritic arborization and the length of its real wiring was less than 5%). We found, however, that the real neuronal wiring was significantly closer to the best solution found in layers II, III and IV. Our studies show that the wiring economy of cortical neurons is related not to the type of neurons or their morphological complexities but to general wiring economy principles. PMID:27832100

  6. Tactile texture signals in primate primary somatosensory cortex and their relation to subjective roughness intensity

    PubMed Central

    Bourgeon, Stéphanie; Dépeault, Alexandra; Meftah, El-Mehdi

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the hypothesis that a simple intensive code, based on mean firing rate, could explain the cortical representation of subjective roughness intensity and its invariance with scanning speed. We examined the sensitivity of neurons in the cutaneous, finger representation of primary somatosensory cortex (S1) to a wide range of textures [1 mm high, raised-dot surfaces; spatial periods (SPs), 1.5–8.5 mm], scanned under the digit tips at different speeds (40–115 mm/s). Since subjective roughness estimates show a monotonic increase over this range and are independent of speed, we predicted that the mean firing rate of a subgroup of S1 neurons would share these properties. Single-unit recordings were made in four alert macaques (areas 3b, 1 and 2). Cells whose discharge rate showed a monotonic increase with SP, independent of speed, were particularly concentrated in area 3b. Area 2 was characterized by a high proportion of cells sensitive to speed, with or without texture sensitivity. Area 1 had intermediate properties. We suggest that area 3b and most likely area 1 play a key role in signaling roughness intensity, and that a mean rate code, signaled by both slowly and rapidly adapting neurons, is present at the level of area 3b. Finally, the substantial proportion of neurons that showed a monotonic change in discharge limited to a small range of SPs (often independent of response saturation) could play a role in discriminating smaller changes in SP. PMID:26763776

  7. Synaptic basis for whisker deprivation-induced synaptic depression in rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Bender, Kevin J; Allen, Cara B; Bender, Vanessa A; Feldman, Daniel E

    2006-04-19

    Whisker deprivation weakens excitatory layer 4 (L4) inputs to L2/3 pyramidal cells in rat primary somatosensory (S1) cortex, which is likely to contribute to whisker map plasticity. This weakening has been proposed to represent long-term depression (LTD) induced by sensory deprivation in vivo. Here, we studied the synaptic expression mechanisms for deprivation-induced weakening of L4-L2/3 inputs and assessed its similarity to LTD, which is known to be expressed presynaptically at L4-L2/3 synapses. Whisker deprivation increased the paired pulse ratio at L4-L2/3 synapses and slowed the use-dependent block of NMDA receptor currents by MK-801 [(5S,10R)-(+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate], indicating that deprivation reduced transmitter release probability at these synapses. In contrast, deprivation did not alter either miniature EPSC amplitude in L2/3 neurons or the amplitude of quantal L4-L2/3 synaptic responses measured in strontium, indicating that postsynaptic responsiveness was unchanged. In young postnatal day 12 (P12) rats, at least 4 d of deprivation were required to significantly weaken L4-L2/3 synapses. Similar weakening occurred when deprivation began at older ages (P20), when synapses are mostly mature, indicating that weakening is unlikely to represent a failure of synaptic maturation but instead represents a reduction in the strength of existing synapses. Thus, whisker deprivation weakens L4-L2/3 synapses by decreasing presynaptic function, similar to known LTD mechanisms at this synapse.

  8. Increased intrinsic brain connectivity between pons and somatosensory cortex during attacks of migraine with aura.

    PubMed

    Hougaard, Anders; Amin, Faisal Mohammad; Larsson, Henrik B W; Rostrup, Egill; Ashina, Messoud

    2017-05-01

    The neurological disturbances of migraine aura are caused by transient cortical dysfunction due to waves of spreading depolarization that disrupt neuronal signaling. The effects of these cortical events on intrinsic brain connectivity during attacks of migraine aura have not previously been investigated. Studies of spontaneous migraine attacks are notoriously challenging due to their unpredictable nature and patient discomfort. We investigated 16 migraine patients with visual aura during attacks and in the attack-free state using resting state fMRI. We applied a hypothesis-driven seed-based approach focusing on cortical visual areas and areas involved in migraine pain, and a data-driven independent component analysis approach to detect changes in intrinsic brain signaling during attacks. In addition, we performed the analyses after mirroring the MRI data according to the side of perceived aura symptoms. We found a marked increase in connectivity during attacks between the left pons and the left primary somatosensory cortex including the head and face somatotopic areas (peak voxel: P = 0.0096, (x, y, z) = (-54, -32, 32), corresponding well with the majority of patients reporting right-sided pain. For aura-side normalized data, we found increased connectivity during attacks between visual area V5 and the lower middle frontal gyrus in the symptomatic hemisphere (peak voxel: P = 0.0194, (x, y, z) = (40, 40, 12). The present study provides evidence of altered intrinsic brain connectivity during attacks of migraine with aura, which may reflect consequences of cortical spreading depression, suggesting a link between aura and headache mechanisms. Hum Brain Mapp 38:2635-2642, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Low-frequency calcium oscillations accompany deoxyhemoglobin oscillations in rat somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Du, Congwu; Volkow, Nora D.; Koretsky, Alan P.; Pan, Yingtian

    2014-01-01

    Spontaneous low-frequency oscillations (LFOs) of blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signals are used to map brain functional connectivity with functional MRI, but their source is not well understood. Here we used optical imaging to assess whether LFOs from vascular signals covary with oscillatory intracellular calcium (Ca2+i) and with local field potentials in the rat’s somatosensory cortex. We observed that the frequency of Ca2+i oscillations in tissue (∼0.07 Hz) was similar to the LFOs of deoxyhemoglobin (HbR) and oxyhemoglobin (HbO2) in both large blood vessels and capillaries. The HbR and HbO2 fluctuations within tissue correlated with Ca2+i oscillations with a lag time of ∼5–6 s. The Ca2+i and hemoglobin oscillations were insensitive to hypercapnia. In contrast, cerebral-blood-flow velocity (CBFv) in arteries and veins fluctuated at a higher frequency (∼0.12 Hz) and was sensitive to hypercapnia. However, in parenchymal tissue, CBFv oscillated with peaks at both ∼0.06 Hz and ∼0.12 Hz. Although the higher-frequency CBFv oscillation (∼0.12 Hz) was decreased by hypercapnia, its lower-frequency component (∼0.06 Hz) was not. The sensitivity of the higher CBFV oscillations to hypercapnia, which triggers blood vessel vasodilation, suggests its dependence on vascular effects that are distinct from the LFOs detected in HbR, HbO2, Ca2+i, and the lower-frequency tissue CBFv, which were insensitive to hypercapnia. Hemodynamic LFOs correlated both with Ca2+i and neuronal firing (local field potentials), indicating that they directly reflect neuronal activity (perhaps also glial). These findings show that HbR fluctuations (basis of BOLD oscillations) are linked to oscillatory cellular activity and detectable throughout the vascular tree (arteries, capillaries, and veins). PMID:25313035

  10. Cellular mechanisms for response heterogeneity among L2/3 pyramidal cells in whisker somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Elstrott, Justin; Clancy, Kelly B; Jafri, Haani; Akimenko, Igor; Feldman, Daniel E

    2014-07-15

    Whisker deflection evokes sparse, low-probability spiking among L2/3 pyramidal cells in rodent somatosensory cortex (S1), with spiking distributed nonuniformly between more and less responsive cells. The cellular and local circuit factors that determine whisker responsiveness across neurons are unclear. To identify these factors, we used two-photon calcium imaging and loose-seal recording to identify more and less responsive L2/3 neurons in S1 slices in vitro, during feedforward recruitment of the L2/3 network by L4 stimulation. We observed a broad gradient of spike recruitment thresholds within local L2/3 populations, with low- and high-threshold cells intermixed. This recruitment gradient was significantly correlated across different L4 stimulation sites, and between L4-evoked and whisker-evoked responses in vivo, indicating that a substantial component of responsiveness is independent of tuning to specific feedforward inputs. Low- and high-threshold L2/3 pyramidal cells differed in L4-evoked excitatory synaptic conductance and intrinsic excitability, including spike threshold and the likelihood of doublet spike bursts. A gradient of intrinsic excitability was observed across neurons. Cells that spiked most readily to L4 stimulation received the most synaptic excitation but had the lowest intrinsic excitability. Low- and high-threshold cells did not differ in dendritic morphology, passive membrane properties, or L4-evoked inhibitory conductance. Thus multiple gradients of physiological properties exist across L2/3 pyramidal cells, with excitatory synaptic input strength best predicting overall spiking responsiveness during network recruitment.

  11. Effects of the α2-adrenergic receptor agonist dexmedetomidine on neurovascular responses in somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Fukuda, Mitsuhiro; Vazquez, Alberto L.; Zong, Xiaopeng; Kim, Seong-Gi

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes the effects of dexmedetomidine (DEX) 5 the active ingredient of medetomidine which is the latest popular sedative for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in rodents 5 on multiple unit activity, local field potential (LFP), cerebral blood flow (CBF), pial vessel diameter (indicative of cerebral blood volume; CBV), and blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI. These measurements were obtained from the rat somatosensory cortex during 10-s forepaw stimulation. We found that the continuous intravascular systemic infusion of DEX (50μg/kg/h, doses typically used in fMRI studies) caused epileptic activities and that supplemental isoflurane administration of ~0.3% helped suppress the development of epileptic activities and maintained robust neuronal and hemodynamic responses up to 3 hours. Supplemental administration of nitrous oxide (N2O) in addition to DEX nearly abolished hemodynamic responses even if neuronal activity remained. Under DEX-ISO anesthesia, spike firing rate and the delta power of LFP increased, while beta and gamma power decreased compared to ISO-only anesthesia. DEX administration caused pial arteries and veins to constrict nearly equally, resulting in decreases in baseline CBF and CBV. Evoked LFP and CBF responses to forepaw stimulation were largest at a frequency of 8–10 Hz, and a non-linear relationship was observed. Similarly, BOLD fMRI responses measured at 9.4 Tesla were largest at a frequency of 10 Hz. Both pial arteries and veins dilated rapidly (artery, 32.2%; vein, 5.8%), while venous diameter changes returned to baseline slower than arteries. These results will be useful for designing, conducting and interpreting fMRI experiments under DEX sedation. PMID:23106361

  12. The human somatosensory system: from perception to decision making.

    PubMed

    Pleger, Burkhard; Villringer, Arno

    2013-04-01

    Pioneering human and animal research has yielded a better understanding of the brain networks involved in somatosensory perception and decision making. New methodical achievements in combination with computational formalization allow research questions to be addressed which increasingly reflect not only the complex sensory demands of real environments, but also the cognitive ones. Here, we review the latest research on somatosensory perception and decision making with a special focus on the recruitment of supplementary brain networks which are dependent on the situation-associated sensory and cognitive demands. We also refer to literature on sensory-motor integration processes during visual decision making to delineate the complexity and dynamics of how sensory information is relayed to the motor output system. Finally, we review the latest literature which provides novel evidence that other everyday life situations, such as semantic decision making or social interactions, appear to depend on tactile experiences; suggesting that the sense of touch, being the first sense to develop ontogenetically, may essentially support later development of other conceptual knowledge.

  13. Beta rhythm modulation by speech sounds: somatotopic mapping in somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura; Campus, Claudio; D'Ausilio, Alessandro

    2016-08-08

    During speech listening motor regions are somatotopically activated, resembling the activity that subtends actual speech production, suggesting that motor commands can be retrieved from sensory inputs. Crucially, the efficient motor control of the articulators relies on the accurate anticipation of the somatosensory reafference. Nevertheless, evidence about somatosensory activities elicited by auditory speech processing is sparse. The present work looked for specific interactions between auditory speech presentation and somatosensory cortical information processing. We used an auditory speech identification task with sounds having different place of articulation (bilabials and dentals). We tested whether coupling the auditory task with a peripheral electrical stimulation of the lips would affect the pattern of sensorimotor electroencephalographic rhythms. Peripheral electrical stimulation elicits a series of spectral perturbations of which the beta rebound reflects the return-to-baseline stage of somatosensory processing. We show a left-lateralized and selective reduction in the beta rebound following lip somatosensory stimulation when listening to speech sounds produced with the lips (i.e. bilabials). Thus, the somatosensory processing could not return to baseline due to the recruitment of the same neural resources by speech stimuli. Our results are a clear demonstration that heard speech sounds are somatotopically mapped onto somatosensory cortices, according to place of articulation.

  14. Beta rhythm modulation by speech sounds: somatotopic mapping in somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura; Campus, Claudio; D’Ausilio, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    During speech listening motor regions are somatotopically activated, resembling the activity that subtends actual speech production, suggesting that motor commands can be retrieved from sensory inputs. Crucially, the efficient motor control of the articulators relies on the accurate anticipation of the somatosensory reafference. Nevertheless, evidence about somatosensory activities elicited by auditory speech processing is sparse. The present work looked for specific interactions between auditory speech presentation and somatosensory cortical information processing. We used an auditory speech identification task with sounds having different place of articulation (bilabials and dentals). We tested whether coupling the auditory task with a peripheral electrical stimulation of the lips would affect the pattern of sensorimotor electroencephalographic rhythms. Peripheral electrical stimulation elicits a series of spectral perturbations of which the beta rebound reflects the return-to-baseline stage of somatosensory processing. We show a left-lateralized and selective reduction in the beta rebound following lip somatosensory stimulation when listening to speech sounds produced with the lips (i.e. bilabials). Thus, the somatosensory processing could not return to baseline due to the recruitment of the same neural resources by speech stimuli. Our results are a clear demonstration that heard speech sounds are somatotopically mapped onto somatosensory cortices, according to place of articulation. PMID:27499204

  15. Objective classification of motion- and direction-sensitive neurons in primary somatosensory cortex of awake monkeys.

    PubMed

    Warren, S; Hamalainen, H A; Gardner, E P

    1986-09-01

    In order to classify movement-sensitive neurons in SI cortex, and to estimate their relative distribution, we have developed a new simple method for controlled motion of textured surfaces across the skin, as well as a set of objective criteria for determining direction selectivity. Moving stimuli were generated using 5 mm thick precision gear wheels, whose teeth formed a grafting. They were mounted on the shafts of low-torque potentiometers (to measure the speed and direction of movement) and rolled manually across the skin using the potentiometer shaft as an axle. As the grafting wheel was advanced, its ridges sequentially contacted a specific set of points on the skin, leaving gaps of defined spacing that were unstimulated. This stimulus was reproducible from trial to trial and produced little distention of the skin. Three objective criteria were used to categorize responses: the ratio of responses to motion in the most and least preferred directions [direction index (DI)], the difference between mean firing rates in the two directions divided by the average standard deviation [index of discriminability (delta'e)], and statistical tests. Neurons were classified as direction sensitive if DI greater than 35, delta's greater than or equal to 1.35 (equivalent to 75% correct discrimination by an unbiased observer), and firing rates in most- and least-preferred directions were significantly different (P less than 0.05). Good agreement was found between the three classification schemes. Recordings were made from 1,020 cortical neurons in the hand and forearm regions of primary somatosensory cortex (areas 3b, 1 and 2) of five macaque monkeys. Tangential motion across the skin was found to be an extremely effective stimulus for SI cortical neurons. Two hundred eighty six of 757 tactile neurons (38%) responded more vigorously to moving stimuli than to pressure or tapping the skin. One hundred twenty-one cells were tested with moving gratings and were classified according

  16. Differential effects of continuous theta burst stimulation over left premotor cortex and right prefrontal cortex on modulating upper limb somatosensory input.

    PubMed

    Brown, Matt J N; Staines, W Richard

    2016-02-15

    Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) represent somatosensory processing in non-primary motor areas (i.e. frontal N30 and N60) and somatosensory cortices (i.e. parietal P50). It is well-known that the premotor cortex (PMC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) are involved in the preparation and planning of upper limb movements but it is currently unclear how they modulate somatosensory processing for upper limb motor control. In the current study, two experiments examined SEP modulations after continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) was used to transiently disrupt the left PMC (Experiment 1) and right PFC (Experiment 2). Both Experiment 1 (n=15) and Experiment 2 (n=16) used pre-post experimental designs. In both experiments participants performed a task requiring detection of varying amplitudes of attended vibrotactile (VibT) stimuli to the left index finger (D2) and execution of a pre-matched finger sequence with the right (contralateral) hand to specific VibT targets. During the task, SEPs were measured to median nerve (MN) stimulations time-locked during pre-stimulus (250 ms before VibT), early response selection (250 ms after VibT), late preparatory (750 ms after VibT) and execution (1250 ms VibT) phases. The key findings of Experiment 1 revealed significant decreases in N30 and N60 peak amplitudes after cTBS to PMC. In contrast, the results of Experiment 2, also found significant decreased N60 peak amplitudes as well as trends for increased N30 and P50 peak amplitudes. A direct comparison of Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 confirmed differential modulation of N30 peak amplitudes after PMC (gated) compared to PFC (enhanced) cTBS. Collectively, these results support that both the left PMC and right PFC have modulatory roles on early somatosensory input into non-primary motor areas, such as PMC and supplementary motor area (SMA), represented by frontal N30 and N60 SEPs. These results confirm that PMC and PFC are both part of a network that regulates somatosensory input

  17. Aging somatosensory cortex displays increased density of WFA-binding perineuronal nets associated with GAD-negative neurons.

    PubMed

    Karetko-Sysa, M; Skangiel-Kramska, J; Nowicka, D

    2014-09-26

    The mechanisms of aging in the brain and the subsequent decrease in cognitive abilities remain elusive. While most studies refer to research conducted in old and senile animals, little is known about the early symptoms of normal, healthy aging. In this study, we examined whether perineuronal nets (PNNs), a special form of extracellular matrix (ECM) tightly associated with neurons that is thought to be involved in limiting neuronal plasticity, undergo changes in density during early aging. Using histochemistry and immunohistochemistry, we found that in middle-aged mice (1-year-old), the density of WFA-binding PNNs in the somatosensory cortex as well as in the visual cortex was increased in comparison to that in young adults (3-month-old). Moreover, in the somatosensory cortex, this increase was not associated with any of the GABAergic neuron types that were examined. We propose that early age-related changes in neuronal plasticity may be associated with this increase and can be conceptualized as the spreading of structural brakes for synaptic rearrangements.

  18. Decreased insulin-like growth factor-I and its receptor expression in the hippocampus and somatosensory cortex of the aged mouse.

    PubMed

    Lee, Choong Hyun; Ahn, Ji Hyeon; Park, Joon Ha; Yan, Bing Chun; Kim, In Hye; Lee, Dae Hwan; Cho, Jeong-Hwi; Chen, Bai Hui; Lee, Jae-Chul; Cho, Jun Hwi; Lee, Yun Lyul; Won, Moo-Ho; Kang, Il-Jun

    2014-04-01

    Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is a multifunctional polypeptide and has diverse effects on brain functions. In the present study, we compared IGF-I and IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) immunoreactivity and their protein levels between the adult (postnatal month 6) and aged (postnatal month 24) mouse hippocampus and somatosensory cortex. In the adult hippocampus, IGF-I immunoreactivity was easily observed in the pyramidal cells of the stratum pyramidale in the hippocampus proper and in the granule cells of the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus. In the adult somatosensory cortex, IGF-I immunoreactivity was easily found in the pyramidal cells of layer V. In the aged groups, IGF-I expression was dramatically decreased in the cells. Like the change of IGF-I immunoreactivity, IGF-IR immunoreactivity in the pyramidal and granule cells of the hippocampus and in the pyramidal cells of the somatosensory cortex was also markedly decreased in the aged group. In addition, both IGF-I and IGF-IR protein levels were significantly decreased in the aged hippocampus and somatosensory cortex. These results indicate that the apparent decrease of IGF-I and IGF-IR expression in the aged mouse hippocampus and somatosensory cortex may be related to age-related changes in the aged brain.

  19. Chronic recordings reveal tactile stimuli can suppress spontaneous activity of neurons in somatosensory cortex of awake and anesthetized primates.

    PubMed

    Qi, Hui-Xin; Reed, Jamie L; Franca, Joao G; Jain, Neeraj; Kajikawa, Yoshinao; Kaas, Jon H

    2016-04-01

    In somatosensory cortex, tactile stimulation within the neuronal receptive field (RF) typically evokes a transient excitatory response with or without postexcitatory inhibition. Here, we describe neuronal responses in which stimulation on the hand is followed by suppression of the ongoing discharge. With the use of 16-channel microelectrode arrays implanted in the hand representation of primary somatosensory cortex of New World monkeys and prosimian galagos, we recorded neuronal responses from single units and neuron clusters. In 66% of our sample, neuron activity tended to display suppression of firing when regions of skin outside of the excitatory RF were stimulated. In a small proportion of neurons, single-site indentations suppressed firing without initial increases in response to any of the tested sites on the hand. Latencies of suppressive responses to skin indentation (usually 12-34 ms) were similar to excitatory response latencies. The duration of inhibition varied across neurons. Although most observations were from anesthetized animals, we also found similar neuron response properties in one awake galago. Notably, suppression of ongoing neuronal activity did not require conditioning stimuli or multi-site stimulation. The suppressive effects were generally seen following single-site skin indentations outside of the neuron's minimal RF and typically on different digits and palm pads, which have not often been studied in this context. Overall, the characteristics of widespread suppressive or inhibitory response properties with and without initial facilitative or excitatory responses add to the growing evidence that neurons in primary somatosensory cortex provide essential processing for integrating sensory stimulation from across the hand.

  20. The effect of unpredicted visual feedback on activation in the secondary somatosensory cortex during movement execution.

    PubMed

    Wasaka, Toshiaki; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2012-11-05

    A mechanism that monitors the congruence between sensory inputs and motor outputs is necessary to control voluntary movement. The representation of limb position is constantly updated on the basis of somatosensory and visual information and efference copy from motor areas. However, the cortical mechanism underlying detection of limb position using somatosensory and visual information has not been elucidated. This study investigated the influence of visual feedback on information processing in somatosensory areas during movement execution using magnetoencephalography. We used an experimental condition in which the visual information was incongruent despite the motor execution and somatosensory feedback being congruent. Subjects performed self-paced bimanual movements of both thumbs, either symmetric or asymmetric, under normal visual and mirrored conditions. The mirror condition provided a visual feedback by showing a reflection of the subject's right hand in place of the left hand. Therefore, in the Asymmetric task of the Mirror condition, subjects saw symmetric movements despite performing asymmetric movements. Activation in the primary somatosensory area (SI) revealed inhibition of neural activity and that in the secondary somatosensory area (SII) showed enhancement with voluntary movement. In addition, the SII contralateral to the side of stimulation was significantly enhanced in the Asymmetric task of the Mirror condition, which provided non-veridical visual feedback. These results suggested that visual information influenced the neuronal activity concerning sensorimotor interaction in the SII during motor execution. The SII contributes to the detection of unpredicted visual feedback of movement execution.

  1. Integrated approach for studying adaptation mechanisms in the human somatosensory cortical network.

    PubMed

    Venkatesan, Lalit; Barlow, Steven M; Popescu, Mihai; Popescu, Anda

    2014-11-01

    Magnetoencephalography and independent component analysis (ICA) was utilized to study and characterize neural adaptation in the somatosensory cortical network. Repetitive punctate tactile stimuli were applied unilaterally to the dominant hand and face using a custom-built pneumatic stimulator called the TAC-Cell. ICA-based source estimation from the evoked neuromagnetic responses indicated cortical activity in the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (SI) for face stimulation, while hand stimulation resulted in robust contralateral SI and posterior parietal cortex (PPC) activation. Activity was also observed in the secondary somatosensory cortical area (SII) with reduced amplitude and higher variability across subjects. There was a significant difference in adaptation rate between SI and higher-order somatosensory cortices for hand stimulation. Adaptation was significantly dependent on stimulus frequency and pulse index within the stimulus train for both hand and face stimulation. The peak latency of the activity was significantly dependent on stimulation site (hand vs. face) and cortical area (SI vs. PPC). The difference in the peak latency of activity in SI and PPC is presumed to reflect a hierarchical serial-processing mechanism in the somatosensory cortex.

  2. Long-term stability of sensitivity to intracortical microstimulation of somatosensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callier, Thierri; Schluter, Erik W.; Tabot, Gregg A.; Miller, Lee E.; Tenore, Francesco V.; Bensmaia, Sliman J.

    2015-10-01

    Objective. The dexterous manipulation of objects depends heavily on somatosensory signals from the limb. The development of anthropomorphic robotic arms and of algorithms to decode intended movements from neuronal signals has stimulated the need to restore somatosensation for use in upper-limb neuroprostheses. Without touch and proprioception, patients have difficulty controlling prosthetic limbs to a level that justifies the required invasive surgery. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) through chronically implanted electrode arrays has the potential to provide rich and intuitive sensory feedback. This approach to sensory restoration requires, however, that the evoked sensations remain stable over time. Approach. To investigate the stability of ICMS-evoked sensations, we measured the ability of non-human primates to detect ICMS over experimental sessions that spanned years. Main results. We found that the performance of the animals remained highly stable over time, even when they were tested with electrodes that had experienced extensive stimulation. Significance. Given the stability of the sensations that it evokes, ICMS may thus be a viable approach for sensory restoration.

  3. Temporal Correlation Mechanisms and Their Role in Feature Selection: A Single-Unit Study in Primate Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Trzcinski, Natalie K.; Mihalas, Stefan; Niebur, Ernst

    2014-01-01

    Studies in vision show that attention enhances the firing rates of cells when it is directed towards their preferred stimulus feature. However, it is unknown whether other sensory systems employ this mechanism to mediate feature selection within their modalities. Moreover, whether feature-based attention modulates the correlated activity of a population is unclear. Indeed, temporal correlation codes such as spike-synchrony and spike-count correlations (rsc) are believed to play a role in stimulus selection by increasing the signal and reducing the noise in a population, respectively. Here, we investigate (1) whether feature-based attention biases the correlated activity between neurons when attention is directed towards their common preferred feature, (2) the interplay between spike-synchrony and rsc during feature selection, and (3) whether feature attention effects are common across the visual and tactile systems. Single-unit recordings were made in secondary somatosensory cortex of three non-human primates while animals engaged in tactile feature (orientation and frequency) and visual discrimination tasks. We found that both firing rate and spike-synchrony between neurons with similar feature selectivity were enhanced when attention was directed towards their preferred feature. However, attention effects on spike-synchrony were twice as large as those on firing rate, and had a tighter relationship with behavioral performance. Further, we observed increased rsc when attention was directed towards the visual modality (i.e., away from touch). These data suggest that similar feature selection mechanisms are employed in vision and touch, and that temporal correlation codes such as spike-synchrony play a role in mediating feature selection. We posit that feature-based selection operates by implementing multiple mechanisms that reduce the overall noise levels in the neural population and synchronize activity across subpopulations that encode the relevant features of

  4. Individual differences in cortical connections of somatosensory cortex are associated with parental rearing style in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Seelke, Adele M. H.; Perkeybile, Allison M.; Grunewald, Rebecca; Bales, Karen L.; Krubitzer, Leah A.

    2015-01-01

    Early life sensory experiences have a profound effect on brain organization, connectivity and subsequent behavior. In most mammals, the earliest sensory inputs are delivered to the developing brain through tactile contact with the parents, especially the mother. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous and, like humans, are biparental. Within the normal prairie vole population, both the type and amount of interactions, particularly tactile contact, that parents have with their offspring varies. The question is whether these early and pervasive differences in tactile stimulation and social experience between parent and offspring are manifest in differences in cortical organization and connectivity. To address this question we examined the cortical and callosal connections of the primary somatosensory area (S1) in high contact (HC) and low contact (LC) offspring using neuroanatomical tracing techniques. Injection sites within S1 were matched so that direct comparisons between these two groups could be made. We observed several important differences between these groups. The first was that HC offspring had a greater density of intrinsic connections within S1 compared to LC offspring. The HC offspring had a more restricted pattern of ipsilateral connections while LC offspring had dense connections with areas of parietal and frontal cortex that were more widespread. Finally, LC offspring had a broader distribution of callosal connections than HC offspring and a significantly higher percentage of callosal labeled neurons. To date, this is the first study that examines individual differences in cortical connections and suggests that they may be related to natural differences in parental rearing styles associated with tactile contact. PMID:26101098

  5. Individual differences in cortical connections of somatosensory cortex are associated with parental rearing style in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Seelke, Adele M H; Perkeybile, Allison M; Grunewald, Rebecca; Bales, Karen L; Krubitzer, Leah A

    2016-02-15

    Early-life sensory experiences have a profound effect on brain organization, connectivity, and subsequent behavior. In most mammals, the earliest sensory inputs are delivered to the developing brain through tactile contact with the parents, especially the mother. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous and, like humans, are biparental. Within the normal prairie vole population, both the type and the amount of interactions, particularly tactile contact, that parents have with their offspring vary. The question is whether these early and pervasive differences in tactile stimulation and social experience between parent and offspring are manifest in differences in cortical organization and connectivity. To address this question, we examined the cortical and callosal connections of the primary somatosensory area (S1) in high-contact (HC) and low-contact (LC) offspring using neuroanatomical tracing techniques. Injection sites within S1 were matched so that direct comparisons between these two groups could be made. We observed several important differences between these groups. The first was that HC offspring had a greater density of intrinsic connections within S1 compared with LC offspring. Additionally, HC offspring had a more restricted pattern of ipsilateral connections, whereas LC offspring had dense connections with areas of parietal and frontal cortex that were more widespread. Finally, LC offspring had a broader distribution of callosal connections than HC offspring and a significantly higher percentage of labeled callosal neurons. This study is the first to examine individual differences in cortical connections and suggests that individual differences in cortical connections may be related to natural differences in parental rearing styles associated with tactile contact.

  6. Synaptic and cellular organization of layer 1 of the developing rat somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Muralidhar, Shruti; Wang, Yun; Markram, Henry

    2013-01-01

    Layer 1 of the neocortex is sparsely populated with neurons and heavily innervated by fibers from lower layers and proximal and distal brain regions. Understanding the potential functions of this layer requires a comprehensive understanding of its cellular and synaptic organization. We therefore performed a quantitative study of the microcircuitry of neocortical layer 1 (L1) in the somatosensory cortex in juvenile rats (P13–P16) using multi-neuron patch-clamp and 3D morphology reconstructions. Expert-based subjective classification of the morphologies of the recorded L1 neurons suggest 6 morphological classes: (1) the Neurogliaform cells with dense axonal arborizations (NGC-DA) and with sparse arborizations (NGC-SA), (2) the Horizontal Axon Cell (HAC), (3) those with descending axonal collaterals (DAC), (4) the large axon cell (LAC), and (5) the small axon cell (SAC). Objective, supervised and unsupervised cluster analyses confirmed DAC, HAC, LAC and NGC as distinct morphological classes. The neurons were also classified into 5 electrophysiological types based on the Petilla convention; classical non-adapting (cNAC), burst non-adapting (bNAC), classical adapting (cAC), classical stuttering (cSTUT), and classical irregular spiking (cIR). The most common electrophysiological type of neuron was the cNAC type (40%) and the most common morpho-electrical type was the NGC-DA—cNAC. Paired patch-clamp recordings revealed that the neurons were connected via GABAergic inhibitory synaptic connections with a 7.9% connection probability and via gap junctions with a 5.2% connection probability. Most synaptic connections were mediated by both GABAA and GABAB receptors (62.6%). A smaller fraction of synaptic connections were mediated exclusively by GABAA (15.4%) or GABAB (21.8%) receptors. Morphological 3D reconstruction of synaptic connected pairs of L1 neurons revealed multi-synapse connections with an average of 9 putative synapses per connection. These putative synapses

  7. Anatomical, physiological and molecular properties of Martinotti cells in the somatosensory cortex of the juvenile rat

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yun; Toledo-Rodriguez, Maria; Gupta, Anirudh; Wu, Caizhi; Silberberg, Gilad; Luo, Junyi; Markram, Henry

    2004-01-01

    Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings followed by histochemical staining and single-cell RT-PCR were obtained from 180 Martinotti interneurones located in layers II to VI of the somatosensory cortex of Wistar rats (P13–P16) in order to examine their anatomical, electrophysiological and molecular properties. Martinotti cells (MCs) mostly displayed ovoid-shaped somata, bitufted dendritic morphologies, and axons with characteristic spiny boutons projecting to layer I and spreading horizontally across neighbouring columns more than 1 mm. Electron microscopic examination of MC boutons revealed that all synapses were symmetrical and most synapses (71%) were formed onto dendritic shafts. MCs were found to contact tuft, apical and basal dendrites in multiple neocortical layers: layer II/III MCs targeted mostly layer I and to a lesser degree layer II/III; layer IV MCs targeted mostly layer IV and to a lesser degree layer I; layer V and VI MCs targeted mostly layer IV and layer I and to a lesser degree the layer in which their somata was located. MCs typically displayed spike train accommodation (90%; n = 127) in response to depolarizing somatic current injections, but some displayed non-accommodating (8%) and a few displayed irregular spiking responses (2%). Some accommodating and irregular spiking MCs also responded initially with bursts (17%). Accommodating responses were found in all layers, non-accommodating mostly in upper layers and bursting mostly in layer V. Single-cell multiplex RT-PCR performed on 63 MCs located throughout layers II–VI, revealed that all MCs were somatostatin (SOM) positive, and negative for parvalbumin (PV) as well as vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). Calbindin (CB), calretinin (CR), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and cholecystokinin (CCK) were co- expressed with SOM in some MCs. Some layer-specific trends seem to exist. Finally, 24 accommodating MCs were examined for the expression of 26 ion channel genes. The ion channels with the highest expression

  8. Somatotopic direct projections from orofacial areas of secondary somatosensory cortex to trigeminal sensory nuclear complex in rats.

    PubMed

    Haque, T; Akhter, F; Kato, T; Sato, F; Takeda, R; Higashiyama, K; Moritani, M; Bae, Y-C; Sessle, B J; Yoshida, A

    2012-09-06

    Little is known about the projections from the orofacial areas of the secondary somatosensory cortex (S2) to the pons and medulla including the second-order somatosensory neuron pools. To address this in rats, we first examined the distribution of S2 neurons projecting to the trigeminal principal nucleus (Vp) or oral subnucleus (Vo) of the trigeminal sensory nuclear complex (TSNC) after injections of a retrograde tracer, Fluorogold (FG), into five regions in the Vp/Vo which were responsive to stimulation of trigeminal nerves innervating the orofacial tissues. A large number of FG-labeled neurons were found with a somatotopic arrangement in the dorsal areas of S2 (orofacial S2 area). This somatotopic arrangement in the orofacial S2 area was shown to closely match that of the orofacial afferent inputs by recording cortical surface potentials evoked by stimulation of the trigeminal nerves. We then examined the morphology of descending projections from these electrophysiologically defined areas of the orofacial S2 to the pons and medulla after injections of an anterograde tracer, biotinylated dextranamine (BDA), into the areas. A large number of BDA-labeled axon fibers and terminals were seen only in some of the second-order somatosensory neuron pools, most notably in the contralateral TSNC, although the labeled terminals were not seen in certain rostrocaudal levels of the contralateral TSNC including the rostrocaudal middle level of the trigeminal interpolar subnucleus. The projections to the TSNC showed somatotopic arrangements in dorsoventral, superficial-deep and rostrocaudal directions. The somatotopic arrangements in the Vp/Vo closely matched those of the electrophysiologically defined central projection sites of the orofacial trigeminal afferents in the TSNC. The present results suggest that the orofacial S2 projects selectively to certain rostrocaudal levels of the contralateral TSNC, and the projections may allow the orofacial S2 to accurately modulate

  9. Abnormal Population Responses in the Somatosensory Cortex of Alzheimer’s Disease Model Mice

    PubMed Central

    Maatuf, Yossi; Stern, Edward A.; Slovin, Hamutal

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. One of the neuropathological hallmarks of AD is the accumulation of amyloid-β plaques. Overexpression of human amyloid precursor protein in transgenic mice induces hippocampal and neocortical amyloid-β accumulation and plaque deposition that increases with age. The impact of these effects on neuronal population responses and network activity in sensory cortex is not well understood. We used Voltage Sensitive Dye Imaging, to investigate at high spatial and temporal resolution, the sensory evoked population responses in the barrel cortex of aged transgenic (Tg) mice and of age-matched non-transgenic littermate controls (Ctrl) mice. We found that a whisker deflection evoked abnormal sensory responses in the barrel cortex of Tg mice. The response amplitude and the spatial spread of the cortical responses were significantly larger in Tg than in Ctrl mice. At the network level, spontaneous activity was less synchronized over cortical space than in Ctrl mice, however synchronization during evoked responses induced by whisker deflection did not differ between the two groups. Thus, the presence of elevated Aβ and plaques may alter population responses and disrupts neural synchronization in large-scale networks, leading to abnormalities in sensory processing. PMID:27079783

  10. Spiking in primary somatosensory cortex during natural whisking in awake head-restrained rats is cell-type specific.

    PubMed

    de Kock, Christiaan P J; Sakmann, Bert

    2009-09-22

    Sensation involves active movement of sensory organs, but it remains unknown how position or movement of sensory organs is encoded in cortex. In the rat whisker system, each whisker is represented by an individual cortical (barrel) column. Here, we quantified in awake, head-fixed rats the impact of natural whisker movements on action potential frequencies of single (identified) neurons located in different layers of somatosensory (barrel) cortex. In all layers, we found only weak correlations between spiking and whisker position or velocity. Conversely, whisking significantly increased spiking rate in a subset of neurons located preferentially in layer 5A. This finding suggests that whisker movement could be encoded by population responses of neurons within all layers and by single slender-tufted pyramids in layer 5A.

  11. Descending antinociception induced by secondary somatosensory cortex stimulation in experimental neuropathy: role of the medullospinal serotonergic pathway.

    PubMed

    Sagalajev, Boriss; Viisanen, Hanna; Wei, Hong; Pertovaara, Antti

    2017-03-01

    Stimulation of the secondary somatosensory cortex (S2) has attenuated pain in humans and inflammatory nociception in animals. Here we studied S2 stimulation-induced antinociception and its underlying mechanisms in an experimental animal model of neuropathy induced by spinal nerve ligation (SNL). Effect of S2 stimulation on heat-evoked limb withdrawal latency was assessed in lightly anesthetized rats that were divided into three groups based on prior surgery and monofilament testing before induction of anesthesia: 1) sham-operated group and 2) hypersensitive and 3) nonhypersensitive (mechanically) SNL groups. In a group of hypersensitive SNL animals, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist was microinjected into the rostroventromedial medulla (RVM) to assess whether autoinhibition of serotonergic cell bodies blocks antinociception. Additionally, effect of S2 stimulation on pronociceptive ON-cells and antinociceptive OFF-cells in the RVM or nociceptive spinal wide dynamic range (WDR) neurons were assessed in anesthetized hypersensitive SNL animals. S2 stimulation induced antinociception in hypersensitive but not in nonhypersensitive SNL or sham-operated animals. Antinociception was prevented by a 5-HT1A receptor agonist in the RVM. Antinociception was associated with decreased duration of heat-evoked response in RVM ON-cells. In spinal WDR neurons, heat-evoked discharge was delayed by S2 stimulation, and this antinociceptive effect was prevented by blocking spinal 5-HT1A receptors. The results indicate that S2 stimulation suppresses nociception in SNL animals if SNL is associated with tactile allodynia-like hypersensitivity. In hypersensitive SNL animals, S2 stimulation induces antinociception mediated by medullospinal serotonergic pathways acting on the spinal 5-HT1A receptor, and partly through reduction of the RVM ON-cell discharge.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Stimulation of S2 cortex, but not that of an adjacent cortical area, induced descending heat antinociception in rats with the

  12. Double anterograde tracing of outputs from adjacent "barrel columns" of rat somatosensory cortex. Neostriatal projection patterns and terminal ultrastructure.

    PubMed

    Wright, A K; Norrie, L; Ingham, C A; Hutton, E A; Arbuthnott, G W

    1999-01-01

    The sensory input to the neostriatum from groups of cortical cells related to individual facial vibrissae has been investigated at both light- and electron-microscopic resolution. The purpose of the study was to establish the extent to which corticostriatal input maintains the anatomical coding of spatial information that is present in cortex. A double anterograde tracing method was used to identify the output projections from groups of adjacent neurons in different barrel columns, so that the anatomical relationships between two groups could be studied throughout their length. Adjacent whiskers are represented in adjoining cortical barrels and an examination of corticostriatal projections from these reveals two patterns of projection. In one, the anatomical topography is partially preserved; the barrels are represented in adjoining, discrete, areas of the somatosensory neostriatum. In the second projection pattern, the neostriatal innervation is diffuse and adjacent barrels are represented in overlapping regions of the neostriatum. Moreover, the fibres are thinner, have smaller boutons, and are present in both the ipsilateral and contralateral neostriatum. The two systems also enter the neostriatal neuropile separately. The discrete topographic system enters the adjacent neostriatum as collaterals which leave the descending corticofugal fibres at right angles, while the diffuse system enters directly from the corpus callosum at an acute angle. Examination of the neostriatal terminal fields by correlated light and electron microscopy, shows that characteristic axospinous terminals on spiny neurons are made by both groups of cortical fibres, although they differ in their size and morphology. It is concluded that at least two corticostriatal pathways arise from the barrel cortex. One connection maintains some of the anatomical code implicit in the barrel pattern of primary somatosensory cortex, but another, more diffuse, system is overlaid upon it which may carry

  13. Genetic analysis of posterior medial barrel subfield (PMBSF) size in somatosensory cortex (SI) in recombinant inbred strains of mice

    PubMed Central

    Jan, Taha A; Lu, Lu; Li, Cheng-Xiang; Williams, Robert W; Waters, Robert S

    2008-01-01

    Background Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping is an important tool for identifying potential candidate genes linked to complex traits. QTL mapping has been used to identify genes associated with cytoarchitecture, cell number, brain size, and brain volume. Previously, QTL mapping was utilized to examine variation of barrel field size in the somatosensory cortex in a limited number of recombinant inbred (RI) strains of mice. In order to further elucidate the underlying natural variation in mouse primary somatosensory cortex, we measured the size of the posterior medial barrel subfield (PMBSF), associated with the representation of the large mystacial vibrissae, in an expanded sample set that included 42 BXD RI strains, two parental strains (C57BL/6J and DBA/2J), and one F1 strain (B6D2F1). Cytochrome oxidase labeling was used to visualize barrels within the PMBSF. Results We observed a 33% difference between the largest and smallest BXD RI strains with continuous variation in-between. Using QTL linkage analysis from WebQTL, we generated linkage maps of raw total PMBSF and brain weight adjusted total PMBSF areas. After removing the effects of brain weight, we detected a suggestive QTL (likelihood ratio statistic [LRS]: 14.20) on the proximal arm of chromosome 4. Candidate genes under the suggestive QTL peak for PMBSF area were selected based on the number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) present and the biological relevance of each gene. Among the candidate genes are Car8 and Rab2. More importantly, mRNA expression profiles obtained using GeneNetwork indicated a strong correlation between total PMBSF area and two genes (Adcy1 and Gap43) known to be important in mouse cortex development. GAP43 has been shown to be critical during neurodevelopment of the somatosensory cortex, while knockout Adcy1 mice have disrupted barrel field patterns. Conclusion We detected a novel suggestive QTL on chromosome 4 that is linked to PMBSF size. The present study is an

  14. A Somatosensory Latency between the Thalamus and Cortex also Correlates with Level of Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, T. Edward; Jensen, Arthur R.

    1993-01-01

    Results for sensory thalamocortical latency (3 somatosensory evoked potentials) for 205 college students agree with data that correlate a more extensive visual evoked potential latency with intelligence quotient. Findings suggest that the correlation occurs because the latency indexes cortical nerve conduction velocity. (SLD)

  15. Reward value is encoded in primary somatosensory cortex and can be decoded from neural activity during performance of a psychophysical task.

    PubMed

    McNiel, David B; Choi, John S; Hessburg, John P; Francis, Joseph T

    2016-08-01

    Encoding of reward valence has been shown in various brain regions, including deep structures such as the substantia nigra as well as cortical structures such as the orbitofrontal cortex. While the correlation between these signals and reward valence have been shown in aggregated data comprised of many trials, little work has been done investigating the feasibility of decoding reward valence on a single trial basis. Towards this goal, one non-human primate (macaca radiata) was trained to grip and hold a target level of force in order to earn zero, one, two, or three juice rewards. The animal was informed of the impending result before reward delivery by means of a visual cue. Neural data was recorded from primary somatosensory cortex (S1) during these experiments and firing rate histograms were created following the appearance of the visual cue and used as input to a variety of classifiers. Reward valence was decoded with high levels of accuracy from S1 both in the post-cue and post-reward periods. Additionally, the proportion of units showing significant changes in their firing rates was influenced in a predictable way based on reward valence. The existence of a signal within S1 cortex that encodes reward valence could have utility for implementing reinforcement learning algorithms for brain machine interfaces. The ability to decode this reward signal in real time with limited data is paramount to the usability of such a signal in practical applications.

  16. Cortical and thalamic contributions to response dynamics across layers of the primary somatosensory cortex during tactile discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Pais-Vieira, Miguel; Kunicki, Carolina; Tseng, Po-He; Martin, Joel; Lebedev, Mikhail

    2015-01-01

    Tactile information processing in the rodent primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is layer specific and involves modulations from both thalamocortical and cortico-cortical loops. However, the extent to which these loops influence the dynamics of the primary somatosensory cortex while animals execute tactile discrimination remains largely unknown. Here, we describe neural dynamics of S1 layers across the multiple epochs defining a tactile discrimination task. We observed that neuronal ensembles within different layers of the S1 cortex exhibited significantly distinct neurophysiological properties, which constantly changed across the behavioral states that defined a tactile discrimination. Neural dynamics present in supragranular and granular layers generally matched the patterns observed in the ventral posterior medial nucleus of the thalamus (VPM), whereas the neural dynamics recorded from infragranular layers generally matched the patterns from the posterior nucleus of the thalamus (POM). Selective inactivation of contralateral S1 specifically switched infragranular neural dynamics from POM-like to those resembling VPM neurons. Meanwhile, ipsilateral M1 inactivation profoundly modulated the firing suppression observed in infragranular layers. This latter effect was counterbalanced by contralateral S1 block. Tactile stimulus encoding was layer specific and selectively affected by M1 or contralateral S1 inactivation. Lastly, causal information transfer occurred between all neurons in all S1 layers but was maximal from infragranular to the granular layer. These results suggest that tactile information processing in the S1 of awake behaving rodents is layer specific and state dependent and that its dynamics depend on the asynchronous convergence of modulations originating from ipsilateral M1 and contralateral S1. PMID:26180115

  17. Cortical and thalamic contributions to response dynamics across layers of the primary somatosensory cortex during tactile discrimination.

    PubMed

    Pais-Vieira, Miguel; Kunicki, Carolina; Tseng, Po-He; Martin, Joel; Lebedev, Mikhail; Nicolelis, Miguel A L

    2015-09-01

    Tactile information processing in the rodent primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is layer specific and involves modulations from both thalamocortical and cortico-cortical loops. However, the extent to which these loops influence the dynamics of the primary somatosensory cortex while animals execute tactile discrimination remains largely unknown. Here, we describe neural dynamics of S1 layers across the multiple epochs defining a tactile discrimination task. We observed that neuronal ensembles within different layers of the S1 cortex exhibited significantly distinct neurophysiological properties, which constantly changed across the behavioral states that defined a tactile discrimination. Neural dynamics present in supragranular and granular layers generally matched the patterns observed in the ventral posterior medial nucleus of the thalamus (VPM), whereas the neural dynamics recorded from infragranular layers generally matched the patterns from the posterior nucleus of the thalamus (POM). Selective inactivation of contralateral S1 specifically switched infragranular neural dynamics from POM-like to those resembling VPM neurons. Meanwhile, ipsilateral M1 inactivation profoundly modulated the firing suppression observed in infragranular layers. This latter effect was counterbalanced by contralateral S1 block. Tactile stimulus encoding was layer specific and selectively affected by M1 or contralateral S1 inactivation. Lastly, causal information transfer occurred between all neurons in all S1 layers but was maximal from infragranular to the granular layer. These results suggest that tactile information processing in the S1 of awake behaving rodents is layer specific and state dependent and that its dynamics depend on the asynchronous convergence of modulations originating from ipsilateral M1 and contralateral S1.

  18. Interactions of acoustic and somatosensory evoked responses in a polysensory cortex of the cat.

    PubMed

    Toldi, J; Fehér, O

    1987-01-01

    Interactions of acoustic and somatosensory evoked potentials were studied in the anterior suprasylvian gyrus of the cat. The interactions showed dynamic changes and were susceptible to different kinds of influences. The interactions could be influenced by synchronous activation of the acoustic and somatosensory inputs with 2 Hz frequency, or by elevating the stimulus frequency. Interactions could be influenced by amphetamine and gamma-glutamyl-taurine, drugs known as capable of influencing the arousal level of the brain. The antagonists of amphetamine prevented this effect. Drugs acting on the cortical GABA-ergic system proved also to be decisive in the interactions of evoked potentials of different origins. In some experiments unit activity was recorded parallel with evoked potentials.

  19. Interactions within the hand representation in primary somatosensory cortex of primates

    PubMed Central

    Lipton, Michael L.; Liszewski, Mark C.; O’Connell, M. Noelle; Mills, Aimee; Smiley, John F.; Branch, Craig A.; Isler, Joseph R.; Schroeder, Charles E.

    2010-01-01

    Prior studies indicate that primary somatosensory cortical Area 3b in macaques contains a somatotopic map of the hand, encompassing representations of each digit. However, numerous observations including recent findings in anesthetized new world monkeys indicate that that the digit representations within the map are not discrete. We assessed the generality and spatial extent of these effects in awake macaques. We show that within a given digit representation: 1) there is response to stimulation of all other digits tested, extending across most or all of the digit map, and 2) response to stimulation of the locally preferred digit is modulated by concurrent stimulation of each of the other digits. Control experiments rule out effects of attention and mechanical spread of stimulation. We thus confirm that that even at the first level of somatosensory cortical processing, inputs from potentially all of the digits frame the context within which the input to a single digit is represented. PMID:21106828

  20. Spatiotemporal trajectories of reactivation of somatosensory cortex by direct and secondary pathways after dorsal column lesions in squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Qi, Hui-Xin; Wang, Feng; Liao, Chia-Chi; Friedman, Robert M; Tang, Chaohui; Kaas, Jon H; Avison, Malcolm J

    2016-11-15

    After lesions of the somatosensory dorsal column (DC) pathway, the cortical hand representation can become unresponsive to tactile stimuli, but considerable responsiveness returns over weeks of post-lesion recovery. The reactivation suggests that preserved subthreshold sensory inputs become potentiated and axon sprouting occurs over time to mediate recovery. Here, we studied the recovery process in 3 squirrel monkeys, using high-resolution cerebral blood volume-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (CBV-fMRI) mapping of contralateral somatosensory cortex responsiveness to stimulation of distal finger pads with low and high level electrocutaneous stimulation (ES) before and 2, 4, and 6weeks after a mid-cervical level contralateral DC lesion. Both low and high intensity ES of digits revealed the expected somatotopy of the area 3b hand representation in pre-lesion monkeys, while in areas 1 and 3a, high intensity stimulation was more effective in activating somatotopic patterns. Six weeks post-lesion, and irrespective of the severity of loss of direct DC inputs (98%, 79%, 40%), somatosensory cortical area 3b of all three animals showed near complete recovery in terms of somatotopy and responsiveness to low and high intensity ES. However there was significant variability in the patterns and amplitudes of reactivation of individual digit territories within and between animals, reflecting differences in the degree of permanent and/or transient silencing of primary DC and secondary inputs 2weeks post-lesion, and their spatio-temporal trajectories of recovery between 2 and 6weeks. Similar variations in the silencing and recovery of somatotopy and responsiveness to high intensity ES in areas 3a and 1 are consistent with individual differences in damage to and recovery of DC and spinocuneate pathways, and possibly the potentiation of spinothalamic pathways. Thus, cortical deactivation and subsequent reactivation depends not only on the degree of DC lesion, but also on

  1. Imaging the Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Supragranular Activity in the Rat Somatosensory Cortex in Response to Stimulation of the Paws

    PubMed Central

    Morales-Botello, M. L.; Aguilar, J.; Foffani, G.

    2012-01-01

    We employed voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging to investigate the spatio-temporal dynamics of the responses of the supragranular somatosensory cortex to stimulation of the four paws in urethane-anesthetized rats. We obtained the following main results. (1) Stimulation of the contralateral forepaw evoked VSD responses with greater amplitude and smaller latency than stimulation of the contralateral hindpaw, and ipsilateral VSD responses had a lower amplitude and greater latency than contralateral responses. (2) While the contralateral stimulation initially activated only one focus, the ipsilateral stimulation initially activated two foci: one focus was typically medial to the focus activated by contralateral stimulation and was stereotaxically localized in the motor cortex; the other focus was typically posterior to the focus activated by contralateral stimulation and was stereotaxically localized in the somatosensory cortex. (3) Forepaw and hindpaw somatosensory stimuli activated large areas of the sensorimotor cortex, well beyond the forepaw and hindpaw somatosensory areas of classical somatotopic maps, and forepaw stimuli activated larger cortical areas with greater activation velocity than hindpaw stimuli. (4) Stimulation of the forepaw and hindpaw evoked different cortical activation dynamics: forepaw responses displayed a clear medial directionality, whereas hindpaw responses were much more uniform in all directions. In conclusion, this work offers a complete spatio-temporal map of the supragranular VSD cortical activation in response to stimulation of the paws, showing important somatotopic differences between contralateral and ipsilateral maps as well as differences in the spatio-temporal activation dynamics in response to forepaw and hindpaw stimuli. PMID:22829873

  2. An integrative MEG-fMRI study of the primary somatosensory cortex using cross-modal correspondence analysis.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Matthias; Chau, Wilkin; Graham, Simon J; McIntosh, Anthony R; Ross, Bernhard; Ishii, Ryouhei; Pantev, Christo

    2004-05-01

    We develop a novel approach of cross-modal correspondence analysis (CMCA) to address whether brain activities observed in magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) represent a common neuronal subpopulation, and if so, which frequency band obtained by MEG best fits the common brain areas. Fourteen adults were investigated by whole-head MEG using a single equivalent current dipole (ECD) and synthetic aperture magnetometry (SAM) approaches and by fMRI at 1.5 T using linear time-invariant modeling to generate statistical maps. The same somatosensory stimulus sequences consisting of tactile impulses to the right sided: digit 1, digit 4 and lower lip were used in both neuroimaging modalities. To evaluate the reproducibility of MEG and fMRI results, one subject was measured repeatedly. Despite different MEG dipole locations and locations of maximum activation in SAM and fMRI, CMCA revealed a common subpopulation of the primary somatosensory cortex, which displays a clear homuncular organization. MEG activity in the frequency range between 30 and 60 Hz, followed by the ranges of 20-30 and 60-100 Hz, explained best the defined subrepresentation given by both MEG and fMRI. These findings have important implications for improving and understanding of the biophysics underlying both neuroimaging techniques, and for determining the best strategy to combine MEG and fMRI data to study the spatiotemporal nature of brain activity.

  3. Vestibular projections in the human cortex.

    PubMed

    de Waele, C; Baudonnière, P M; Lepecq, J C; Tran Ba Huy, P; Vidal, P P

    2001-12-01

    There is considerable evidence from studies on cats and monkeys that several cortical areas such as area 2v at the tip of the intraparietal sulcus, area 3av in the sulcus centralis, the parietoinsular vestibular cortex adjacent to the posterior insula (PIVC) and area 7 in the inferior parietal lobule are involved in the processing of vestibular information. Microelectrode recordings from these areas have shown that: (1) most of these cortical neurons are connected trisynaptically to the labyrinthine endorgans and (2) they receive converging vestibular, visual and somatosensory inputs. These data suggest that a multimodal cortical system is involved in postural and gaze control. In humans, recent positron emission tomography (PET) scans and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have largely confirmed these data. However, because of the limited temporal resolution of these two methods, the minimum time of arrival of labyrinthine inputs from the vestibular hair cells to these cortical areas has not yet been determined. In this study, we used the evoked potential method to attempt to answer this question. Due to its excellent temporal resolution, this method is ideal for the investigation of the tri- or polysynaptic nature of the vestibulocortical pathways. Eleven volunteer patients, who underwent a vestibular neurectomy due to intractable Meniere's disease (MD) or acoustic neurinoma resection, were included in this experiment. Patients were anesthetized and the vestibular nerve was electrically stimulated. The evoked potentials were recorded by 30 subcutaneous active electrodes located on the scalp. The brain electrical source imaging (BESA) program (version 2.0, 1995) was used to calculate dipole sources. The latency period for the activation of five distinct cortical zones, including the prefrontal and/or the frontal lobe, the ipsilateral temporoparietal cortex, the anterior portion of the supplementary motor area (SMA) and the contralateral parietal

  4. Effects of Ketamine on Neuronal Spontaneous Excitatory Postsynaptic Currents and Miniature Excitatory Postsynaptic Currents in the Somatosensory Cortex of Rats

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Chengdong; Zhang, Yajun; Zhang, Yu; Cao, Song; Wang, Yuan; Fu, Bao; Yu, Tian

    2016-01-01

    Background: Ketamine is a commonly used intravenous anesthetic which produces dissociation anesthesia, analgesia, and amnesia. The mechanism of ketamine-induced synaptic inhibition in high-level cortical areas is still unknown. We aimed to elucidate the effects of different concentrations of ketamine on the glutamatergic synaptic transmission of the neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex by using the whole-cell patch-clamp method. Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats (11–19 postnatal days, n=36) were used to obtain brain slices (300 μM). Spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (data from 40 neurons) were recorded at a command potential of -70 mV in the presence of bicuculline (a competitive antagonist of GABAA receptors, 30 μM) and strychnine (glycine receptor antagonist, 30 μM). Miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (data from 40 neurons) were also recorded when 1 μM of tetrodotoxin was added into the artificial cerebrospinal fluid. We used GraphPad Prism5for statistical analysis. Significant differences in the mean amplitude and frequency were tested using the Student paired 2-tailed t test. Values of P<0.05 were considered significant. Results: Different concentrations of ketamine inhibited the frequency and amplitude of the spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents as well as the amplitude of the miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in a concentration-dependent manner, but they exerted no significant effect on the frequency of the miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. Conclusion: Ketamine inhibited the excitatory synaptic transmission of the neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex. The inhibition may have been mediated by a reduction in the sensitivity of the postsynaptic glutamatergic receptors. PMID:27365548

  5. Effect of serotonin depletion on vibrissa-related patterns of thalamic afferents in the rat's somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Bennett-Clarke, C A; Leslie, M J; Lane, R D; Rhoades, R W

    1994-12-01

    To investigate the role of 5-HT in the development of the somatosensory cortex, this amine was depleted in newborn (P-0) rats with a single subcutaneous injection of the toxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) and thalamocortical organization was assayed by application of the carbocyanine dye Di-I to the thalamocortical radiations or ventrobasal thalamus, or by staining cortical sections for AChE or cytochrome oxidase (CO). High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of cortices from animals killed on P-6 or P > 60 demonstrated that 5,7-DHT treatment resulted in 85.04 +/- 12.6% and 72.5 +/- 1.5% reductions in cortical 5-HT, respectively. Alternate cortices from the brains of animals killed on P-6 processed for 5-HT immunoreactivity demonstrated a complete absence of the vibrissa-related pattern of immunoreactivity and only a small number of coarse immunoreactive axons. The 85% depletion of 5-HT did not alter the somatotopic organization of thalamocortical afferents in animals killed on P-6 or P > 60, but it did cause 30.5 +/- 7.3% and 19.1 +/- 3.7% reductions in the cross-sectional areas of the patches of thalamocortical afferents corresponding to the long mystacial vibrissae (p < 0.05). These reductions were not associated with significant reductions in either brain or cortical weight or with decreases in the dimensions of the thalamic representation of the vibrissa follicles. These results indicate that 5-HT plays a significant role in the development of the thalamic innervation of the primary somatosensory cortex.

  6. Stochastic resonance in the spinal cord and somatosensory cortex of the cat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manjarrez, Elias; Rojas-Piloni, Gerardo; Perez, Hugo; Mendez, Ignacio; Hernandez-Paxtian, Zulma; Flores, Amira

    2003-05-01

    The aim of this study was to demonstrate the occurrence of stochastic resonance (SR) in spinal and cortical potentials elicited by periodic tactile stimuli in the anaesthetised cat. The periodic tactile stimuli were applied on the central pad of the hindpaw and the noisy tactile stimuli on the glabrous skin of the third hindpaw digit. This protocol allowed that the signal and noise were mixed not in the skin but in the somatosensory regions of the central nervous system. The results show that a particular level of tactile noise can increase the amplitude of the spinal and cortical potentials elicited by periodic tactile stimuli. The topographical distribution of evoked potentials indicates that the effects of noise were spatially restricted. All cats showed distinct SR behavior at the spinal and cortical stages of the sensory encoding. Such SR was abolished in the cortical but not in the spinal recording after the sectioning of the ascending pathways. This suggests that the spinal neurones may also contribute to the SR observed at the cortical level. The present study documents the first evidence that the SR phenomenon occurs in the spinal and cortical somatosensory system itself and not only in the peripheral sensory receptors.

  7. Body Topography Parcellates Human Sensory and Motor Cortex.

    PubMed

    Kuehn, Esther; Dinse, Juliane; Jakobsen, Estrid; Long, Xiangyu; Schäfer, Andreas; Bazin, Pierre-Louis; Villringer, Arno; Sereno, Martin I; Margulies, Daniel S

    2017-07-01

    The cytoarchitectonic map as proposed by Brodmann currently dominates models of human sensorimotor cortical structure, function, and plasticity. According to this model, primary motor cortex, area 4, and primary somatosensory cortex, area 3b, are homogenous areas, with the major division lying between the two. Accumulating empirical and theoretical evidence, however, has begun to question the validity of the Brodmann map for various cortical areas. Here, we combined in vivo cortical myelin mapping with functional connectivity analyses and topographic mapping techniques to reassess the validity of the Brodmann map in human primary sensorimotor cortex. We provide empirical evidence that area 4 and area 3b are not homogenous, but are subdivided into distinct cortical fields, each representing a major body part (the hand and the face). Myelin reductions at the hand-face borders are cortical layer-specific, and coincide with intrinsic functional connectivity borders as defined using large-scale resting state analyses. Our data extend the Brodmann model in human sensorimotor cortex and suggest that body parts are an important organizing principle, similar to the distinction between sensory and motor processing. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  8. Physical Exercise Preserves Adult Visual Plasticity in Mice and Restores it after a Stroke in the Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Hüppe, Janika M; Löwel, Siegrid

    2016-01-01

    The primary visual cortex (V1) is widely used to study brain plasticity, which is not only crucial for normal brain function, such as learning and memory, but also for recovery after brain injuries such as stroke. In standard cage (SC) raised mice, experience-dependent ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in V1 declines with age and is compromised by a lesion in adjacent and distant cortical regions. In contrast, mice raised in an enriched environment (EE), exhibit lifelong OD plasticity and are protected from losing OD plasticity after a stroke-lesion in the somatosensory cortex. Since SC mice with an access to a running wheel (RW) displayed preserved OD plasticity during aging, we investigated whether physical exercise might also provide a plasticity promoting effect after a cortical stroke. To this end, we tested if adult RW-raised mice preserved OD plasticity after stroke and also if short-term running after stroke restored OD plasticity to SC mice. Indeed, unlike mice without a RW, adult RW mice continued to show OD plasticity even after stroke, and a 2 weeks RW experience after stroke already restored lost OD plasticity. Additionally, the experience-enabled increase of the spatial frequency and contrast threshold of the optomotor reflex of the open eye, normally lost after a stroke, was restored in both groups of RW mice. Our data suggest that physical exercise alone can not only preserve visual plasticity into old age, but also restore it after a cortical stroke.

  9. Loss of Ensemble Segregation in Dentate Gyrus, but not in Somatosensory Cortex, during Contextual Fear Memory Generalization

    PubMed Central

    Yokoyama, Marie; Matsuo, Naoki

    2016-01-01

    The details of contextual or episodic memories are lost and generalized with the passage of time. Proper generalization may underlie the formation and assimilation of semantic memories and enable animals to adapt to ever-changing environments, whereas overgeneralization of fear memory evokes maladaptive fear responses to harmless stimuli, which is a symptom of anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To understand the neural basis of fear memory generalization, we investigated the patterns of neuronal ensemble reactivation during memory retrieval when contextual fear memory expression is generalized using transgenic mice that allowed us to visualize specific neuronal ensembles activated during memory encoding and retrieval. We found preferential reactivations of neuronal ensembles in the primary somatosensory cortex (SS), when mice were returned to the conditioned context to retrieve their memory 1 day after conditioning. In the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG), exclusively separated ensemble reactivation was observed when mice were exposed to a novel context. These results suggest that the DG as well as the SS were likely to distinguish the two different contexts at the ensemble activity level when memory is not generalized at the behavioral level. However, 9 days after conditioning when animals exhibited generalized fear, the unique reactivation pattern in the DG, but not in the SS, was lost. Our results suggest that the alternations in the ensemble representation within the DG, or in upstream structures that link the sensory cortex to the hippocampus, may underlie generalized contextual fear memory expression. PMID:27872586

  10. Physical Exercise Preserves Adult Visual Plasticity in Mice and Restores it after a Stroke in the Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Hüppe, Janika M.; Löwel, Siegrid

    2016-01-01

    The primary visual cortex (V1) is widely used to study brain plasticity, which is not only crucial for normal brain function, such as learning and memory, but also for recovery after brain injuries such as stroke. In standard cage (SC) raised mice, experience-dependent ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in V1 declines with age and is compromised by a lesion in adjacent and distant cortical regions. In contrast, mice raised in an enriched environment (EE), exhibit lifelong OD plasticity and are protected from losing OD plasticity after a stroke-lesion in the somatosensory cortex. Since SC mice with an access to a running wheel (RW) displayed preserved OD plasticity during aging, we investigated whether physical exercise might also provide a plasticity promoting effect after a cortical stroke. To this end, we tested if adult RW-raised mice preserved OD plasticity after stroke and also if short-term running after stroke restored OD plasticity to SC mice. Indeed, unlike mice without a RW, adult RW mice continued to show OD plasticity even after stroke, and a 2 weeks RW experience after stroke already restored lost OD plasticity. Additionally, the experience-enabled increase of the spatial frequency and contrast threshold of the optomotor reflex of the open eye, normally lost after a stroke, was restored in both groups of RW mice. Our data suggest that physical exercise alone can not only preserve visual plasticity into old age, but also restore it after a cortical stroke. PMID:27708575

  11. NADPH-d positive neurons in the developing somatosensory cortex of the rat: effects of early and late environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Fernández, V; Bravo, H; Sanhueza, M; Inzunza, O

    1998-05-15

    The effects of environmental enrichment upon the topographic arrangement of NADPH diaphorase-positive neurons (NADPH-d+ neurons) was studied in the somatosensory cortex of 56 Sprague-Dawley albino rats during early stages of development (18th, 24th, 30th and 60th postnatal days). This diaphorase is easily demonstrable, providing a convenient marker for quantitative studies. Environmental enrichment diminished the number of NADPH-d+ neurons and exerted its maximal influence during lactation, a time of exceptional cortical susceptibility. This implies that the magnitude of such effects on the density of NADPH-d+ neurons is age-dependent. Furthermore, it was found that the experience-dependent cortical changes persisted after a subsequent period without environmental stimulation. The effects of early environmental enrichment did not occur uniformly throughout the cerebral hemispheres but, instead, such effects were maximal in the latero-ventral sector of the cerebral cortex where a dramatic reduction in the number of NADPH-d+ neurons was observed. Particularly striking was the existence of a latero-medial sequence of NADPH-d+ neurons in the infragranular layer and a reversed distribution of labeled cells, in the supragranular layer. Both ontogenetic sequences of NADPH-d+ neurons remained unchanged during postnatal development in controls and enriched subjects (18th-60th postnatal days). Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

  12. Early and Moderate Sensory Stimulation Exerts a Protective Effect on Perilesion Representations of Somatosensory Cortex after Focal Ischemic Damage

    PubMed Central

    Xerri, Christian; Zennou-Azogui, Yoh'i

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that intensive training within an early critical time window after focal cortical ischemia increases the area of damaged tissue and is detrimental to behavioral recovery. We postulated that moderate stimulation initiated soon after the lesion could have protective effects on peri-infarct cortical somatotopic representations. Therefore, we have assessed the effects of mild cutaneous stimulation delivered in an attention-demanding behavioral context on the functional organization of the perilesion somatosensory cortex using high-density electrophysiological mapping. We compared the effects of 6-day training initiated on the 3rd day postlesion (early training; ET) to those of same-duration training started on the 8th day (delayed training; DT). Our findings confirm previous work showing that the absence of training aggravates representational loss in the perilesion zone. In addition, ET was found to be sufficient to limit expansion of the ischemic lesion and reduce tissue loss, and substantially maintain the neuronal responsiveness to tactile stimulation, thereby preserving somatotopic map arrangement in the peri-infarct cortical territories. By contrast, DT did not prevent tissue loss and only partially reinstated lost representations in a use-dependent manner within the spared peri-infarct cortical area. This study differentiates the effects of early versus delayed training on perilesion tissue and cortical map reorganization, and underscores the neuroprotective influence of mild rehabilitative stimulation on neuronal response properties in the peri-infarct cortex during an early critical period. PMID:24914807

  13. Volume electron microscopy of the distribution of synapses in the neuropil of the juvenile rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Santuy, A; Rodriguez, J R; DeFelipe, J; Merchan-Perez, A

    2017-07-18

    Knowing the proportions of asymmetric (excitatory) and symmetric (inhibitory) synapses in the neuropil is critical for understanding the design of cortical circuits. We used focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) to obtain stacks of serial sections from the six layers of the juvenile rat (postnatal day 14) somatosensory cortex (hindlimb representation). We segmented in three-dimensions 6184 synaptic junctions and determined whether they were established on dendritic spines or dendritic shafts. Of all these synapses, 87-94% were asymmetric and 6-13% were symmetric. Asymmetric synapses were preferentially located on dendritic spines in all layers (80-91%) while symmetric synapses were mainly located on dendritic shafts (62-86%). Furthermore, we found that less than 6% of the dendritic spines establish more than one synapse. The vast majority of axospinous synapses were established on the spine head. Synapses on the spine neck were scarce, although they were more common when the dendritic spine established multiple synapses. This study provides a new large quantitative dataset that may contribute not only to the knowledge of the ultrastructure of the cortex, but also towards defining the connectivity patterns through all cortical layers.

  14. Early and moderate sensory stimulation exerts a protective effect on perilesion representations of somatosensory cortex after focal ischemic damage.

    PubMed

    Xerri, Christian; Zennou-Azogui, Yoh'i

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that intensive training within an early critical time window after focal cortical ischemia increases the area of damaged tissue and is detrimental to behavioral recovery. We postulated that moderate stimulation initiated soon after the lesion could have protective effects on peri-infarct cortical somatotopic representations. Therefore, we have assessed the effects of mild cutaneous stimulation delivered in an attention-demanding behavioral context on the functional organization of the perilesion somatosensory cortex using high-density electrophysiological mapping. We compared the effects of 6-day training initiated on the 3rd day postlesion (early training; ET) to those of same-duration training started on the 8th day (delayed training; DT). Our findings confirm previous work showing that the absence of training aggravates representational loss in the perilesion zone. In addition, ET was found to be sufficient to limit expansion of the ischemic lesion and reduce tissue loss, and substantially maintain the neuronal responsiveness to tactile stimulation, thereby preserving somatotopic map arrangement in the peri-infarct cortical territories. By contrast, DT did not prevent tissue loss and only partially reinstated lost representations in a use-dependent manner within the spared peri-infarct cortical area. This study differentiates the effects of early versus delayed training on perilesion tissue and cortical map reorganization, and underscores the neuroprotective influence of mild rehabilitative stimulation on neuronal response properties in the peri-infarct cortex during an early critical period.

  15. Localisation of the sensorimotor cortex during surgery for brain tumours: feasibility and waveform patterns of somatosensory evoked potentials

    PubMed Central

    Romstock, J; Fahlbusch, R; Ganslandt, O; Nimsky, C; Strauss, C

    2002-01-01

    Objective: Intraoperative localisation of the sensorimotor cortex using the phase reversal of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) is an essential tool for surgery in and around the perirolandic gyri, but unsuccessful and perplexing results have been reported. This study examines the effect of tumour masses on the waveform characteristics and feasibility of SEP compared with functional neuronavigation and electrical motor cortex mapping. Methods: In 230 patients with tumours of the sensorimotor region the SEP phase reversal of N20-P20 was recorded from the exposed cortex using a subdural grid or strip electrode. In one subgroup of 80 patients functional neuronavigation was performed with motor and sensory magnetic source imaging and in one subgroup of 40 patients the motor cortex hand area was localised by electrical stimulation mapping. Results: The intraoperative SEP method was successful in 92% of all patients, it could be shown that the success rate rather depended on the location of the lesion than on preoperative neurological deficits. In 13% of the patients with postcentral tumours no N20-P20 phase reversal was recorded but characteristic polyphasic and high amplitude waves at 25 ms and later made the identification of the postcentral gyrus possible nevertheless. Electrical mapping of the motor cortex took up to 30 minutes until a clear result was obtained. It was successful in 37 patients, but failed in three patients with precentral and central lesions. Functional neuronavigation indicating the tumour margins and the motor and sensory evoked fields was possible in all patients. Conclusion: The SEP phase reversal of N20-P20 is a simple and reliable technique, but the success rate is much lower in large central and postcentral tumours. With the use of polyphasic late waveforms the sensorimotor cortex may be localised. By contrast with motor electrical mapping it is less time consuming. Functional neuronavigation is a desirable tool for both preoperative

  16. Effects of mindfulness meditation training on anticipatory alpha modulation in primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Kerr, Catherine E; Jones, Stephanie R; Wan, Qian; Pritchett, Dominique L; Wasserman, Rachel H; Wexler, Anna; Villanueva, Joel J; Shaw, Jessica R; Lazar, Sara W; Kaptchuk, Ted J; Littenberg, Ronnie; Hämäläinen, Matti S; Moore, Christopher I

    2011-05-30

    During selective attention, ∼7-14 Hz alpha rhythms are modulated in early sensory cortices, suggesting a mechanistic role for these dynamics in perception. Here, we investigated whether alpha modulation can be enhanced by "mindfulness" meditation (MM), a program training practitioners in sustained attention to body and breath-related sensations. We hypothesized that participants in the MM group would exhibit enhanced alpha power modulation in a localized representation in the primary somatosensory neocortex in response to a cue, as compared to participants in the control group. Healthy subjects were randomized to 8-weeks of MM training or a control group. Using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recording of the SI finger representation, we found meditators demonstrated enhanced alpha power modulation in response to a cue. This finding is the first to show enhanced local alpha modulation following sustained attentional training, and implicates this form of enhanced dynamic neural regulation in the behavioral effects of meditative practice.

  17. Receptive Field Properties of the Macaque Second Somatosensory Cortex: Representation of Orientation on Different Finger Pads

    PubMed Central

    Fitzgerald, Paul J.; Lane, John W.; Thakur, Pramodsingh H.; Hsiao, Steven S.

    2007-01-01

    Orientation tuning has been studied extensively in the visual system, but little is known about it in the somatosensory system. Here we investigate tuning in the second somatosensory (SII) region using a motorized stimulator that presented a small oriented bar to the 12 finger pads of digits 2–5 (D2–D5) of the macaque monkey. A subset (23%; n = 218) of the 928 SII region neurons [the same 928 neurons studied by Fitzgerald et al. (2004, 2006)] exhibited tuning, and most of these were tuned on one or two finger pads. All eight 22.5° separated orientations were represented as the preferred orientation of multiple neurons, although not necessarily in equal numbers. A measure of bandwidth indicated that tuning in the SII region is sharp and is similar to the tuning observed in visual cortical areas. In addition, two-dimensional Gaussians that were fit to the tuning curves had very high r2 values, indicating that most tuning curves are both unimodal and symmetrical with respect to their preferred orientation. Most tuned neurons had additional untuned pads, although the responsiveness of these pads tended to be less than the responsiveness of tuned pads. Neurons with multiple tuned pads tended to have similar preferred orientations on their tuned pads, which can be interpreted as evidence for integration of information across fingers or as a form of positional invariance. Finally, comparison of the tuning properties showed that there are small but significant differences between the posterior, central, and anterior fields of the SII region. PMID:16775135

  18. Callosal axon arbors in the limb representations of the somatosensory cortex (SI) in the agouti (Dasyprocta primnolopha).

    PubMed

    Rocha, E G; Santiago, L F; Freire, M A M; Gomes-Leal, W; Dias, I A; Lent, R; Houzel, J C; Franca, J G; Pereira, A; Picanço-Diniz, C W

    2007-01-10

    The present report compares the morphology of callosal axon arbors projecting from and to the hind- or forelimb representations in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) of the agouti (Dasyprocta primnolopha), a large, lisencephlic Brazilian rodent that uses forelimb coordination for feeding. Callosal axons were labeled after single pressure (n = 6) or iontophoretic injections (n = 2) of the neuronal tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA, 10 kD), either into the hind- (n = 4) or forelimb (n = 4) representations of SI, as identified by electrophysiological recording. Sixty-nine labeled axon fragments located across all layers of contralateral SI representations of the hindlimb (n = 35) and forelimb (n = 34) were analyzed. Quantitative morphometric features such as densities of branching points and boutons, segments length, branching angles, and terminal field areas were measured. Cluster analysis of these values revealed the existence of two types of axon terminals: Type I (46.4%), less branched and more widespread, and Type II (53.6%), more branched and compact. Both axon types were asymmetrically distributed; Type I axonal fragments being more frequent in hindlimb (71.9%) vs. forelimb (28.13%) representation, while most of Type II axonal arbors were found in the forelimb representation (67.56%). We concluded that the sets of callosal axon connecting fore- and hindlimb regions in SI are morphometrically distinct from each other. As callosal projections in somatosensory and motor cortices seem to be essential for bimanual interaction, we suggest that the morphological specialization of callosal axons in SI of the agouti may be correlated with this particular function. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Lateral inhibition in the somatosensory cortex during and between migraine without aura attacks: Correlations with thalamocortical activity and clinical features.

    PubMed

    Coppola, Gianluca; Bracaglia, Martina; Di Lenola, Davide; Iacovelli, Elisa; Di Lorenzo, Cherubino; Serrao, Mariano; Evangelista, Maurizio; Parisi, Vincenzo; Schoenen, Jean; Pierelli, Francesco

    2016-05-01

    We studied lateral inhibition in the somatosensory cortex of migraineurs during and between attacks, and searched for correlations with thalamocortical activity and clinical features. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) were obtained by electrical stimulation of the right median (M) or ulnar (U) nerves at the wrist or by simultaneous stimulation of both nerves (MU) in 41 migraine without aura patients, 24 between (MO), 17 during attacks, and in 17 healthy volunteers (HVs). We determined the percentage of lateral inhibition of the N20-P25 component by using the formula [(100)-MU/(M + U)*100]. We also studied high-frequency oscillations (HFOs) reflecting thalamocortical activation. In migraine, both lateral inhibition (MO 27.9% vs HVs 40.2%; p = 0.009) and thalamocortical activity (MO 0.5 vs HVs 0.7; p = 0.02) were reduced between attacks, but not during. In MO patients, the percentage of lateral inhibition negatively correlated with days elapsed since the last migraine attack (r = -0.510, p = 0.01), monthly attack duration (r = -0.469, p = 0.02) and severity (r = -0.443, p = 0.03), but positively with thalamocortical activity (r = -0.463, p = 0.02). We hypothesize that abnormal migraine cycle-dependent dynamics of connectivity between subcortical and cortical excitation/inhibition networks may contribute to clinical features of MO and recurrence of attacks. © International Headache Society 2015.

  20. Structure of the excitatory receptive fields of infragranular forelimb neurons in the rat primary somatosensory cortex responding to touch.

    PubMed

    Tutunculer, Banu; Foffani, Guglielmo; Himes, B Timothy; Moxon, Karen A

    2006-06-01

    We quantitatively studied the excitatory receptive fields of 297 neurons recorded from the forelimb infragranular somatosensory cortex of the rat while touch stimuli were applied to discrete locations on the forelimbs. Receptive fields were highly heterogeneous, but they were regulated, on average, by an underlying spatio-temporal structure. We found the following. (i) Neurons responded with decreasing magnitude and increasing latency when the stimulus was moved from the primary location to secondary locations and to far ispilateral locations of their excitatory receptive fields, displaying smooth transitions from the primary location to secondary locations. (ii) Receptive field patterns revealed functional connectivity between the digits and ventral palm, which did not depend on whether the digits were stimulated dorsally or ventrally. (iii) The structure of the receptive fields (i.e. the neural responses to stimulation of secondary locations compared to the neural responses to stimulation of the primary location), reflected cortical (rather than body) distances. (iv) There was a functional separation between the forepaw and the rest of the forelimb. Namely: if the primary location was in the digits or palm, secondary locations were biased toward the digits and palm; if the primary location was in rest of the forelimb, secondary locations appeared equally distributed over forelimb, digits and palm. (v) More than 40% of neurons extended their receptive field to the ipsilateral forelimb, without any evident spatial organization. Overall, the stimuli evoked approximately 3 times more spikes from secondary responses than from primary responses. These results suggest that a rich repertoire of spatio-temporal responses is available for encoding tactile information. This highly distributed receptive field structure provides the electrophysiological architecture for studying organization and plasticity of cortical somatosensory processing.

  1. Diffuse optical tomography activation in the somatosensory cortex: specific activation by painful vs. non-painful thermal stimuli.

    PubMed

    Becerra, Lino; Harris, Will; Grant, Margaret; George, Edward; Boas, David; Borsook, David

    2009-11-24

    Pain is difficult to assess due to the subjective nature of self-reporting. The lack of objective measures of pain has hampered the development of new treatments as well as the evaluation of current ones. Functional MRI studies of pain have begun to delineate potential brain response signatures that could be used as objective read-outs of pain. Using Diffuse Optical Tomography (DOT), we have shown in the past a distinct DOT signal over the somatosensory cortex to a noxious heat stimulus that could be distinguished from the signal elicited by innocuous mechanical stimuli. Here we further our findings by studying the response to thermal innocuous and noxious stimuli. Innocuous and noxious thermal stimuli were applied to the skin of the face of the first division (ophthalmic) of the trigeminal nerve in healthy volunteers (N = 6). Stimuli temperatures were adjusted for each subject to evoke warm (equivalent to a 3/10) and painful hot (7/10) sensations in a verbal rating scale (0/10 = no/max pain). A set of 26 stimuli (5 sec each) was applied for each temperature with inter-stimulus intervals varied between 8 and 15 sec using a Peltier thermode. A DOT system was used to capture cortical responses on both sides of the head over the primary somatosensory cortical region (S1). For the innocuous stimuli, group results indicated mainly activation on the contralateral side with a weak ipsilateral response. For the noxious stimuli, bilateral activation was observed with comparable amplitudes on both sides. Furthermore, noxious stimuli produced a temporal biphasic response while innocuous stimuli produced a monophasic response. These results are in accordance with fMRI and our other DOT studies of innocuous mechanical and noxious heat stimuli. The data indicate the differentiation of DOT cortical responses for pain vs. innocuous stimuli that may be useful in assessing objectively acute pain.

  2. Increased Brain Gray Matter in the Primary Somatosensory Cortex is Associated with Increased Pain and Mood Disturbance in Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome Patients

    PubMed Central

    Kairys, Anson E.; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias; Puiu, Tudor; Ichesco, Eric; Labus, Jennifer S.; Martucci, Katherine; Farmer, Melissa A.; Ness, Timothy J.; Deutsch, Georg; Mayer, Emeran A.; Mackey, Sean; Apkarian, A. Vania; Maravilla, Kenneth; Clauw, Daniel J.; Harris, Richard E.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a highly prevalent pain condition, estimated to affect 3-6% of women in the United States. Emerging data suggests there are central neurobiological components to the etiology of this disease. Here we report the first brain structural imaging findings from the Multidisciplinary Approach to Pelvic Pain (MAPP) network, with data on over 300 participants. Materials and Methods We used Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) to determine whether human patients with chronic IC display changes in brain morphology as compared to healthy controls (HCs). 33 female IC patients without comorbidities and 33 age- and sex-matched controls, taken from the larger sample, underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging at 5 different MAPP sites across the United States. Results When compared to controls, females with IC displayed significant increased gray matter (GM) volume in several regions of the brain including the right primary somatosensory cortex (S1), the superior parietal lobule bilaterally, and the right supplementary motor area. GM volume in the right S1 was associated with greater pain, mood (anxiety), and urological symptoms. We explored these correlations in a linear regression model and found independent effects of these three measures on S1 GM volume: clinical pain (McGill pain sensory total), a measure of “urgency,” and anxiety (HADS). Conclusions These data support the notion that changes in somatosensory GM may play an important role in pain sensitivity as well as affective and sensory aspects of IC. Further studies are needed to confirm the generalizability of these findings to other pain conditions. PMID:25132239

  3. Hemodynamic and Light-Scattering Changes of Rat Spinal Cord and Primary Somatosensory Cortex in Response to Innocuous and Noxious Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    He, Ji-Wei; Liu, Hanli; Peng, Yuan Bo

    2015-01-01

    Neuroimaging technologies with an exceptional spatial resolution and noninvasiveness have become a powerful tool for assessing neural activity in both animals and humans. However, the effectiveness of neuroimaging for pain remains unclear partly because the neurovascular coupling during pain processing is not completely characterized. Our current work aims to unravel patterns of neurovascular parameters in pain processing. A novel fiber-optic method was used to acquire absolute values of regional oxy- (HbO) and deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations, oxygen saturation rates (SO2), and the light-scattering coefficients from the spinal cord and primary somatosensory cortex (SI) in 10 rats. Brief mechanical and electrical stimuli (ranging from innocuous to noxious intensities) as well as a long-lasting noxious stimulus (formalin injection) were applied to the hindlimb under pentobarbital anesthesia. Interhemispheric comparisons in the spinal cord and SI were used to confirm functional activation during sensory processing. We found that all neurovascular parameters showed stimulation-induced changes; however, patterns of changes varied with regions and stimuli. Particularly, transient increases in HbO and SO2 were more reliably attributed to brief stimuli, whereas a sustained decrease in SO2 was more reliably attributed to formalin. Only the ipsilateral SI showed delayed responses to brief stimuli. In conclusion, innocuous and noxious stimuli induced significant neurovascular responses at critical centers (e.g., the spinal cord and SI) along the somatosensory pathway; however, there was no single response pattern (as measured by amplitude, duration, lateralization, decrease or increase) that was able to consistently differentiate noxious stimuli. Our results strongly suggested that the neurovascular response patterns differ between brief and long-lasting noxious stimuli, and can also differ between the spinal cord and SI. Therefore, a use of multiple-parameter strategy

  4. Response properties of slowly and rapidly adapting periodontal mechanosensitive neurones in the primary somatosensory cortex of the cat.

    PubMed

    Nishiura, H; Tabata, T; Watanabe, M

    2000-10-01

    Periodontal mechanosensitive neurones in the primary somatosensory (SI) cortex are classified as either slowly or rapidly adapting. The responses of cortical neurones and their projection pathways were studied using mechanical and electrical stimulation of the teeth and electrical stimulation of the thalamic posteromedial ventral (VPM) nuclei and contralateral SI cortex. A total of 247 periodontal mechanosensitive units were recorded from the SI cortex in 35 anaesthetized cats, distributed mainly in area 3b: 14% were slowly adapting and 86% rapidly adapting units; 62% of the slowly adapting and 9% of the rapidly adapting units were single-tooth units sensitive to stimulation of only one tooth. The incidence of slowly adapting units with an ipsilateral receptive field was almost equal to that of slowly adapting units with a contralateral receptive field, and more than half of the units were directionally selective to mechanical tooth stimulation. The majority of rapidly adapting units had their receptive field in the contralateral teeth and were directionally non-selective to tooth stimulation. The latencies of the cortical responses of the slowly and rapidly adapting units were 7.3 and 10.7 ms, respectively, on electrical stimulation of the contralateral teeth, and 1.8 and 2.0 ms, respectively, on electrical stimulation of the ipsilateral VPM nucleus. From these findings, it is inferred that slowly adapting neurones are useful for discriminating the tooth stimulated, the stimulus direction, the stimulus intensity and the change of pressure applied to the tooth, while rapidly adapting neurones could function to signal initial contact with food or the opposing teeth.

  5. Dermatomal Organization of SI Leg Representation in Humans: Revising the Somatosensory Homunculus.

    PubMed

    Dietrich, Caroline; Blume, Kathrin R; Franz, Marcel; Huonker, Ralph; Carl, Maria; Preißler, Sandra; Hofmann, Gunther O; Miltner, Wolfgang H R; Weiss, Thomas

    2017-09-01

    Penfield and Rasmussen's homunculus is the valid map of the neural body representation of nearly each textbook of biology, physiology, and neuroscience. The somatosensory homunculus places the foot representation on the mesial surface of the postcentral gyrus followed by the representations of the lower leg and the thigh in superio-lateral direction. However, this strong homuncular organization contradicts the "dermatomal" organization of spinal nerves. We used somatosensory-evoked magnetic fields and source analysis to study the leg's neural representation in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). We show that the representation of the back of the thigh is located inferior to the foot's representation in SI whereas the front of the thigh is located laterally to the foot's representation. This observation indicates that the localization of the leg in SI rather follows the dermatomal organization of spinal nerves than the typical map of neighboring body parts as depicted in Penfield and Rasmussen's illustration of the somatosensory homunculus. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Embedding a Panoramic Representation of Infrared Light in the Adult Rat Somatosensory Cortex through a Sensory Neuroprosthesis

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Konstantin; Thomson, Eric E.; Zea, Ivan; Yun, Richy; Mullen, Peter; Canarick, Jay; Huh, Albert

    2016-01-01

    Can the adult brain assimilate a novel, topographically organized, sensory modality into its perceptual repertoire? To test this, we implemented a microstimulation-based neuroprosthesis that rats used to discriminate among infrared (IR) light sources. This system continuously relayed information from four IR sensors that were distributed to provide a panoramic view of IR sources, into primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Rats learned to discriminate the location of IR sources in <4 d. Animals in which IR information was delivered in spatial register with whisker topography learned the task more quickly. Further, in animals that had learned to use the prosthesis, altering the topographic mapping from IR sensor to stimulating electrode had immediate deleterious effects on discrimination performance. Multielectrode recordings revealed that S1 neurons had multimodal (tactile/IR) receptive fields, with clear preferences for those stimuli most likely to be delivered during the task. Neuronal populations predicted, with high accuracy, which stimulation pattern was present in small (75 ms) time windows. Surprisingly, when identical microstimulation patterns were delivered during an unrelated task, cortical activity in S1 was strongly suppressed. Overall, these results show that the adult mammalian neocortex can readily absorb completely new information sources into its representational repertoire, and use this information in the production of adaptive behaviors. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding the potential for plasticity in the adult brain is a key goal for basic neuroscience and modern rehabilitative medicine. Our study examines one dimension of this challenge: how malleable is sensory processing in adult mammals? We implemented a panoramic infrared (IR) sensory prosthetic system in rats; it consisted of four IR sensors equally spaced around the circumference of the head of the rat. Each sensor was coupled to a microstimulating electrode placed in the somatosensory

  7. Neurologic Outcome After Resection of Parietal Lobe Including Primary Somatosensory Cortex: Implications of Additional Resection of Posterior Parietal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young-Hoon; Kim, June Sic; Lee, Sang Kun; Chung, Chun Kee

    2017-10-01

    Postoperative neurologic outcomes after primary somatosensory cortex (S1) resection have not been well documented. This study was designed to evaluate the neurologic deterioration that follows resection of the S1 areas and to assess the risk factors associated with these morbidities. We reviewed 48 consecutive patients with medically intractable epilepsy who underwent resection of the S1 and/or the adjacent cortex. The 48 patients were categorized into 4 groups according to the resected area as seen on postoperative magnetic resonance images: group 1 (resection of S1 only; n = 4), 2 (the posterior parietal cortex [PPC] only; n = 24), 3 (S1 and PPC; n = 10), and 4 (S1 and precentral gyrus; n = 10). After the resection of S1 areas, 19 patients (40%) experienced neurologic worsening, including 6 (13%) with permanent and 13 (27%) with transient deficits. Patients with permanent deficits included 2 with motor dysphasia, 1 with dysesthesia, 2 with equilibrium impairments, and 1 with fine movement disturbance of the hand. The overall and permanent neurologic risks were 25% and 0% in group 1, 17% and 4% in group 2, 80% and 20% in group 3, and 60% and 30% in group 4, respectively. Multivariate analysis determined that the resection of both S1 and PPC was the only significant risk factor for neurologic deficits (P = 0.002). The neurologic risk of the resection of S1 and/or its adjacent cortical areas was 40%. The additional resection of the PPC was significantly associated with the development of postoperative neurologic impairments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Identification of the source of the bilateral projection system from cortex to somatosensory neostriatum and an exploration of its physiological actions.

    PubMed

    Wright, A K; Ramanathan, S; Arbuthnott, G W

    2001-01-01

    Microinjections of cholera toxin B subunit were made into the area of the neostriatum that receives input from the primary somatosensory barrel cortex (SI) in the rat. Studies of the cortices then allowed retrograde identification of the cortical cells supplying the striatal input. When injections were restricted to the neostriatum, retrograde labelling was found in layer V of both SI cortices. Ipsilateral to the injection, cells were retrogradely filled with toxin in all parts of the barrel field, in adjacent parietal cortex, in the motor cortex and in prefrontal areas. A similar distribution across cortical areas was seen contralaterally; however, the stained cells in the SI were between rather than within barrel columns. An earlier anterograde study suggested two inputs from the SI to the neostriatum. The present results indicate that one input to the somatosensory area of the neostriatum arises bilaterally from neurons between the barrels of the SI, while the topographic pathway from below the barrels is present only ipsilaterally. These anatomical results indicate that separate stimulation of the two corticostriatal pathways from the barrel cortex is possible. Electrical stimulation of the contralateral cortex will activate the bilateral pathway, while electrical stimulation of the whisker pads activates the barrels and hence the topographic pathway. Neurons in the somatosensory region of the striatum responded to stimuli in the contralateral cortex and in the contralateral whisker pad. In spite of very different path lengths, stimuli via the two routes gave rise to excitatory postsynaptic potentials in the striatal cells with similar latencies. The excitatory postsynaptic potentials to whisker pad stimulation had a rapid rise time and usually resulted in at least one action potential. Responses to stimulation of the contralateral cortex rose to a peak more slowly and were more variable in latency, but also gave rise to an action potential in the majority of

  9. Receptive Field (RF) Properties of the Macaque Second Somatosensory Cortex: RF Size, Shape, and Somatotopic Organization

    PubMed Central

    Fitzgerald, Paul J.; Lane, John W.; Thakur, Pramodsingh H.; Hsiao, Steven S.

    2007-01-01

    The detailed structure of multidigit receptive fields (RFs) in somatosensory cortical areas such as the SII region has not been investigated previously using systematically controlled stimuli. Recently (Fitzgerald et al., 2004), we showed that the SII region comprises three adjoining fields: posterior, central, and anterior. Here we characterize the RF structures of the 928 neurons that were reported in that study using a motorized oriented bar that was indented into the 12 finger pads of digits 2–5. Most (81%) of the neurons were responsive to the oriented bar stimuli, and 81% of those neurons had RFs that spanned multiple digits. Furthermore, the RFs varied greatly in size, shape, and complexity. Some RFs contained only excitatory finger pads, some contained only inhibitory pads, and some contained both types of pads. A subset of the neurons (23%) showed orientation tuning within one or more pads. The RFs spread across different digits more than within individual digits, and the responsive finger pads for a given neuron tended to cluster together within the hand. Distal and lateral finger pads were better represented than proximal and medial finger pads. Furthermore, neurons in the posterior, central, and anterior SII region fields contained different proportions of RF types. These results collectively indicate that most SII region neurons are selective for different stimulus forms either within single finger pads or across multiple pads. We hypothesize that these RFs represent the kernels underlying the representation of tactile shape. PMID:16775136

  10. Continuous theta-burst stimulation over primary somatosensory cortex modulates short-latency afferent inhibition.

    PubMed

    Tsang, Philemon; Jacobs, Mark F; Lee, Kevin G H; Asmussen, Michael J; Zapallow, Christopher M; Nelson, Aimee J

    2014-11-01

    The present study investigated the effects of continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) over primary somatosensory (SI) and motor (M1) cortices on motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) and short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI). MEPs and SAI were recorded from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle of the right hand following 30Hz cTBS over left-hemisphere SI and M1 delivered to the same participants in separate sessions. Measurements were taken before and up to 60min following cTBS. CTBS over M1 suppressed MEPs and did not alter SAI. In contrast cTBS over SI facilitated MEPs and decreased median and digital nerve evoked SAI. These findings indicate that SAI amplitude is influenced by cTBS over SI but not M1, suggesting an important role for SI in the modulation of this circuit. These data provide further evidence that cTBS over SI versus M1 has opposite effects on corticospinal excitability. To date, plasticity-inducing TMS protocols delivered over M1 have failed to modulate SAI, and the present research continues to support these findings. However, in young adults, cTBS over SI acts to reduce SAI and simultaneously increase corticospinal excitability. Future studies may investigate the potential to modulate SAI via targeting neural activity within SI. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Look but don't touch: Visual cues to surface structure drive somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hua-Chun; Welchman, Andrew E.; Chang, Dorita H.F.; Di Luca, Massimiliano

    2016-01-01

    When planning interactions with nearby objects, our brain uses visual information to estimate shape, material composition, and surface structure before we come into contact with them. Here we analyse brain activations elicited by different types of visual appearance, measuring fMRI responses to objects that are glossy, matte, rough, or textured. In addition to activation in visual areas, we found that fMRI responses are evoked in the secondary somatosensory area (S2) when looking at glossy and rough surfaces. This activity could be reliably discriminated on the basis of tactile-related visual properties (gloss, rough, and matte), but importantly, other visual properties (i.e., coloured texture) did not substantially change fMRI activity. The activity could not be solely due to tactile imagination, as asking explicitly to imagine such surface properties did not lead to the same results. These findings suggest that visual cues to an object's surface properties evoke activity in neural circuits associated with tactile stimulation. This activation may reflect the a-priori probability of the physics of the interaction (i.e., the expectation of upcoming friction) that can be used to plan finger placement and grasp force. PMID:26778128

  12. Look but don't touch: Visual cues to surface structure drive somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hua-Chun; Welchman, Andrew E; Chang, Dorita H F; Di Luca, Massimiliano

    2016-03-01

    When planning interactions with nearby objects, our brain uses visual information to estimate shape, material composition, and surface structure before we come into contact with them. Here we analyse brain activations elicited by different types of visual appearance, measuring fMRI responses to objects that are glossy, matte, rough, or textured. In addition to activation in visual areas, we found that fMRI responses are evoked in the secondary somatosensory area (S2) when looking at glossy and rough surfaces. This activity could be reliably discriminated on the basis of tactile-related visual properties (gloss, rough, and matte), but importantly, other visual properties (i.e., coloured texture) did not substantially change fMRI activity. The activity could not be solely due to tactile imagination, as asking explicitly to imagine such surface properties did not lead to the same results. These findings suggest that visual cues to an object's surface properties evoke activity in neural circuits associated with tactile stimulation. This activation may reflect the a-priori probability of the physics of the interaction (i.e., the expectation of upcoming friction) that can be used to plan finger placement and grasp force. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Neural response to movement of the hand and mouth in the secondary somatosensory cortex of Japanese monkeys during a simple feeding task.

    PubMed

    Taoka, Miki; Tanaka, Michio; Hihara, Sayaka; Ojima, Hisayuki; Iriki, Atsushi

    2013-09-01

    Neural activity was recorded in the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) of macaque monkeys during a simple feeding task. Around the border between the representations of the hand and face in SII, we found neurons that became active during both retrieving with the hand and eating; 59% had receptive fields (RFs) in the hand/face and the remaining 41% had no RFs. Neurons that responded to touching objects were rarely found. This suggests their sensorimotor function rather than tactile object recognition.

  14. Non-invasive single-trial detection of variable population spike responses in human somatosensory evoked potentials.

    PubMed

    Waterstraat, Gunnar; Scheuermann, Manuel; Curio, Gabriel

    2016-03-01

    Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) around 600 Hz ('σ-bursts') are correlates of cortical population spikes. Recently, single-trial σ-bursts were detected in human scalp EEG using 29-channel low-noise recordings in an electromagnetically shielded room. To achieve clinical applicability, this study aimed to establish a protocol using only 8 EEG channels in an unshielded environment and to quantify the variability of σ-bursts. Median nerve SEPs were recorded in 10 healthy subjects using a custom-built low-noise EEG amplifier. A detection algorithm for single-trial σ-bursts was trained as combination of spatio-temporal filters and a non-linear classifier. The single-trial responses were probed for the presence of significant increases of amplitude and variability. Single-trial σ-burst detection succeeded with Detection Rates and Positive Predictive Values above 80% in subjects with high SNR. A significant inter-trial variability in the amplitudes of early low-frequency SEPs and σ-bursts could be demonstrated. Single-trial σ-bursts can be detected on scalp-EEG using only 8 EEG channels in an electromagnetically disturbed environment. The combination of dedicated hardware and detection algorithms allows quantifying and describing their variability. The variability of population spikes in the human somatosensory cortex can be traced non-invasively in a clinical setting. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The structure of somatosensory information for human postural control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeka, J. J.; Ribeiro, P.; Oie, K.; Lackner, J. R.

    1998-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to determine the properties of the somatosensory stimulus that alter its temporal coupling to body sway. Six standing subjects were tested while touching a metal plate positioned either directly in front of or lateral to the subject. In each condition, the plate moved 4 mm at 0.2 Hz in either the medial-lateral (ML) or anterior-posterior direction (AP). The results showed that coupling between body sway and touch plate movement was strongest when the touch plate moved in a direction along the longitudinal axis of the arm. Coupling strength was weaker when the touch plate moved perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the arm. The results consistently show that a radial expansion stimulus was more effective than a lamellar-type stimulus at the fingertip. Moreover, somatosensory information from a surface is interpreted in terms of the orientation of the contact limb and the potential degrees of freedom available through its movement.

  16. The structure of somatosensory information for human postural control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeka, J. J.; Ribeiro, P.; Oie, K.; Lackner, J. R.

    1998-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to determine the properties of the somatosensory stimulus that alter its temporal coupling to body sway. Six standing subjects were tested while touching a metal plate positioned either directly in front of or lateral to the subject. In each condition, the plate moved 4 mm at 0.2 Hz in either the medial-lateral (ML) or anterior-posterior direction (AP). The results showed that coupling between body sway and touch plate movement was strongest when the touch plate moved in a direction along the longitudinal axis of the arm. Coupling strength was weaker when the touch plate moved perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the arm. The results consistently show that a radial expansion stimulus was more effective than a lamellar-type stimulus at the fingertip. Moreover, somatosensory information from a surface is interpreted in terms of the orientation of the contact limb and the potential degrees of freedom available through its movement.

  17. Developmental expression of Kir4.1 in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes of rat somatosensory cortex and hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Moroni, Ramona Frida; Inverardi, Francesca; Regondi, Maria Cristina; Pennacchio, Paolo; Frassoni, Carolina

    2015-12-01

    Kir4.1 is the principal K(+) channel expressed in glial cells. It has been shown that it plays a fundamental role in K(+)-spatial buffering, an astrocyte-specific process where excess extracellular concentration of K(+) ions, generated by synaptic activity, is spatially redistributed to distant sites via astrocytic syncytia. Experimental and clinical evidence suggested that abnormality of Kir4.1 function in the brain is involved in different neurological diseases such as epilepsy, dysmyelination, and Huntington's disease. Although it has been shown that Kir4.1 is expressed predominantly in astrocytes in certain areas of the rat brain and its transcript is present in the rat forebrain as early as embryonic day E14, no information is available concerning the temporal sequence of Kir4.1 protein appearance during embryonic and post-natal development. Aim of this work was to study the expression pattern of Kir4.1 channel in rat somatosensory cortex and hippocampus during development and to examine its cellular localization with the glial and oligodendroglial markers S100-β, GFAP, and Olig-2. Kir4.1 protein was detected since E20 and a gradual increase of Kir4.1 expression occurred between early postnatal period and adulthood. We showed a gradual shift in Kir4.1 subcellular localization from the soma of astrocytes to distal glial processes. Double immunofluorescence experiments confirmed the cellular localization of Kir4.1 in glial cells. Our data provide the first overview of Kir4.1 developmental expression both in the cortex and hippocampus and support the glial role of Kir4.1 in K(+) spatial buffering.

  18. Spatiotemporal characteristics of cerebral blood volume changes in different microvascular compartments evoked by sciatic nerve stimulation in rat somatosensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Pengcheng; Luo, Qingming; Luo, Weihua; Chen, Shanbin; Cheng, Haiying; Zeng, Shaoqun

    2003-07-01

    The spatio-temporal characteristics of changes in cerebral blood volume associated with neuronal activity were investigated in the hindlimb somatosensory cortex of α-chloralose/urethan anesthetized rats (n=10) with optical imaging at 570nm through a thinned skull. Activation of cortex was carried out by electrical stimulation of the contralateral sciatic nerve with 5Hz, 0.3V pulses (0.5ms) for duration of 2s. The stimulation evoked a monophasic optical reflectance decrease at cortical parenchyma and arteries sites rapidly after the onset of stimulation, whereas no similar response was observed at vein compartments. The optical signal changes reached 10% of the peak response 0.70+/-0.32s after stimulation onset and no significant time lag in this 10% start latency time was observed between the response at cortical parenchyma and arteries compartments. The evoked optical reflectance decrease reached the peak (0.25%+/-0.047%) 2.66+/-0.61s after the stimulus onset at parenchyma site, 0.40+/-0.20s earlier (P<0.05) than that at arteries site (0.50+/-0.068% 3.06+/-0.70s). Variable location within the cortical parenchyma and arteries compartment themselves didn"t affect the temporal characteristics of the evoked signal significantly. These results suggest that the sciatic nerve stimulation evokes a local blood volume increase at both capillaries (cortical parenchyma) and arterioles rapidly after the stimulus onset but the evoked blood volume increase in capillaries could not be entirely accounted for by the dilation of arterioles.

  19. Attenuation of N2 amplitude of laser-evoked potentials by theta burst stimulation of primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Poreisz, Csaba; Antal, Andrea; Boros, Klára; Brepohl, Nadine; Csifcsák, Gábor; Paulus, Walter

    2008-03-01

    Theta burst stimulation (TBS) is a special repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) paradigm, where bursts of low-intensity stimuli are applied in the theta frequency. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of neuronavigated TBS over primary somatosensory cortex (SI) on laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) and acute pain perception induced with Tm : YAG laser stimulation. The amplitude changes of the N1, N2, and P2 components of LEPs and related subjective pain rating scores of 12 healthy subjects were analyzed prior to and following continuous TBS (cTBS), intermittent TBS (iTBS), intermediate TBS (imTBS), and sham stimulation. Our results demonstrate that all active TBS paradigms significantly diminished the amplitude of the N2 component, when the hand contralateral to the site of TBS was laser-stimulated. Sham stimulation condition had no significant effect. The subjective pain perception also decreased during the experimental sessions, but did not differ significantly from the sham stimulation condition. The main finding of our study is that TBS over SI diminished the amplitude of the N2 component evoked from the contralateral side without any significant analgesic effects. Furthermore, imTBS produced responses similar to those observed by other forms of TBS induced excitability changes in the SI.

  20. Synapses of Horizontal Connections in Adult Rat Somatosensory Cortex Have Different Properties Depending on the Source of their Axons

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    In somatosensory cortex (S1) tactile stimulation activates specific regions. The borders between representations of different body parts constrain the spread of excitation and inhibition: connections that cross from one representation to another (cross-border, CB) are weaker than those remaining within the representation (noncross border, NCB). Thus, physiological properties of CB and NCB synapses onto layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons were compared using whole-cell recordings in layer 2/3 neurons close to the border between the forepaw and lower jaw representations. Electrical stimulation of CB and NCB connections was used to activate synaptic potentials. Properties of excitatory (EPSPs) and inhibitory (IPSPs) postsynaptic potentials (PSP) were determined using 3 methods: 1) minimal stimulation to elicit single-fiber responses; 2) stimulation in the presence of extracellular Sr2+ to elicit asynchronous quantal responses; 3) short trains of stimulation at various frequencies to examine postsynaptic potential (PSP) dynamics. Both minimal and asynchronous quantal EPSPs were smaller when evoked by CB than NCB stimulation. However, the dynamics of EPSP and IPSP trains were not different between CB and NCB stimulation. These data suggest that individual excitatory synapses from connections that cross a border (CB) have smaller amplitudes than those that come from within a representation (NCB), and suggest a postsynaptic locus for the difference. PMID:19571271

  1. Synapses of horizontal connections in adult rat somatosensory cortex have different properties depending on the source of their axons.

    PubMed

    Hickmott, Peter W

    2010-03-01

    In somatosensory cortex (S1) tactile stimulation activates specific regions. The borders between representations of different body parts constrain the spread of excitation and inhibition: connections that cross from one representation to another (cross-border, CB) are weaker than those remaining within the representation (noncross border, NCB). Thus, physiological properties of CB and NCB synapses onto layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons were compared using whole-cell recordings in layer 2/3 neurons close to the border between the forepaw and lower jaw representations. Electrical stimulation of CB and NCB connections was used to activate synaptic potentials. Properties of excitatory (EPSPs) and inhibitory (IPSPs) postsynaptic potentials (PSP) were determined using 3 methods: 1) minimal stimulation to elicit single-fiber responses; 2) stimulation in the presence of extracellular Sr(2+) to elicit asynchronous quantal responses; 3) short trains of stimulation at various frequencies to examine postsynaptic potential (PSP) dynamics. Both minimal and asynchronous quantal EPSPs were smaller when evoked by CB than NCB stimulation. However, the dynamics of EPSP and IPSP trains were not different between CB and NCB stimulation. These data suggest that individual excitatory synapses from connections that cross a border (CB) have smaller amplitudes than those that come from within a representation (NCB), and suggest a postsynaptic locus for the difference.

  2. BCL11B/CTIP2 is highly expressed in GABAergic interneurons of the mouse somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Nikouei, Kasra; Muñoz-Manchado, Ana B; Hjerling-Leffler, Jens

    2016-01-01

    In the nervous system, BCL11B is crucial for the development of deep layer corticospinal projection neurons and striatal medium spiny neurons and is often used as a marker for the aforementioned cell types. However, the expression of BCL11B in subtypes of non-excitatory neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) has not been reported in the mouse. In this study we show that BCL11B is extensively expressed in S1 GABAergic interneurons, throughout the three main subgroups (somatostatin-, parvalbumin- and 5HT3a-expresssing). Almost all BCL11B positive cells in the upper S1 layers were GABAergic interneurons and surprisingly, almost 40% of the BCL11B positive neurons in layer V were GABAergic interneurons. Single cell mRNA sequencing data revealed higher Bcl11b expression in S1 interneurons compared to deep layer pyramidal neurons. The highest levels of Bcl11b expression were found within the 5HT3a population, specifically in putative neurogliaform interneuron subclasses (5HT3a-positive but not expressing vasoactive intestinal peptide). In the light of our findings we suggest caution using BCL11B as a single marker to identify neurons.

  3. Effects of aging on properties of the local circuit in rat primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in vitro.

    PubMed

    Hickmott, Peter; Dinse, Hubert

    2013-10-01

    During aging receptive field properties degrade, the ability of the circuit to process temporal information is impaired and behaviors mediated by the circuit can become impaired. These changes are mediated by changes in the properties of neural circuits, particularly the balance of excitation and inhibition, the intrinsic properties of neurons, and the anatomy of connections in the circuit. In this study, properties of thalamorecipient pyramidal neurons in layer 3 were examined in the hindpaw region of rat primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in vitro. Excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) resulting from trains of electrical stimulation of thalamocortical afferents were recorded. Excitatory postsynaptic currents were larger in old S1, but showed no difference in temporal dynamics; IPSCs showed significantly less suppression across the train in old S1, partly due to a decrease in GABAB signaling. Neurons in old S1 were more likely to exhibit burst firing, due to an increase in T-current. Significant differences in dendritic morphology were also observed in old S1, accompanied by a decrease in dendritic spine density. These data directly demonstrate changes in the properties of the thalamorecipient circuit in old S1 and help to explain the changes observed in responses during aging.

  4. Attenuation of N2 amplitude of laser-evoked potentials by theta burst stimulation of primary somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Antal, Andrea; Boros, Klára; Brepohl, Nadine; Csifcsák, Gábor; Paulus, Walter

    2007-01-01

    Theta burst stimulation (TBS) is a special repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) paradigm, where bursts of low-intensity stimuli are applied in the theta frequency. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of neuronavigated TBS over primary somatosensory cortex (SI) on laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) and acute pain perception induced with Tm : YAG laser stimulation. The amplitude changes of the N1, N2, and P2 components of LEPs and related subjective pain rating scores of 12 healthy subjects were analyzed prior to and following continuous TBS (cTBS), intermittent TBS (iTBS), intermediate TBS (imTBS), and sham stimulation. Our results demonstrate that all active TBS paradigms significantly diminished the amplitude of the N2 component, when the hand contralateral to the site of TBS was laser-stimulated. Sham stimulation condition had no significant effect. The subjective pain perception also decreased during the experimental sessions, but did not differ significantly from the sham stimulation condition. The main finding of our study is that TBS over SI diminished the amplitude of the N2 component evoked from the contralateral side without any significant analgesic effects. Furthermore, imTBS produced responses similar to those observed by other forms of TBS induced excitability changes in the SI. PMID:18043910

  5. Degree of adaptability of the somatosensory cortex to change: prospects for integration of bone-mounted dental prostheses.

    PubMed

    Calford, Mike B

    2005-01-01

    1. The topographic representation of the body surface in the somatosensory cortex provides an important model system for the in vivo study of neuronal plasticity, induced changes in somatotopy providing a direct measure of plasticity not available in most parts of the central nervous system. 2. Over the past two decades, animal experimentation in a number of laboratories has shown a remarkable degree of adaptability of the cortical representation following peripheral lesions and has had a widespread influence by challenging the once-accepted dogma that the brain is a structurally fixed organ. 3. Although some aspects of original stimulation will be missing, it is likely that receptors stimulated through bone conduction and compression by bone-mounted dental prostheses preserve some of the geometric and temporal relationships of original stimulation. By analogy with data obtained from the forearm representations, it would be expected that many features of the original cortical representations will be recreated. 4. There are also examples in the literature of perceptual learning without gross changes to the cortical representation (some being within a class of adaptability known as gain control) and it is likely that perceptual integration of many dental prostheses occurs within the limits of these neural adaptation mechanisms.

  6. Laminar microvascular transit time distribution in the mouse somatosensory cortex revealed by Dynamic Contrast Optical Coherence Tomography.

    PubMed

    Merkle, Conrad W; Srinivasan, Vivek J

    2016-01-15

    The transit time distribution of blood through the cerebral microvasculature both constrains oxygen delivery and governs the kinetics of neuroimaging signals such as blood-oxygen-level-dependent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (BOLD fMRI). However, in spite of its importance, capillary transit time distribution has been challenging to quantify comprehensively and efficiently at the microscopic level. Here, we introduce a method, called Dynamic Contrast Optical Coherence Tomography (DyC-OCT), based on dynamic cross-sectional OCT imaging of an intravascular tracer as it passes through the field-of-view. Quantitative transit time metrics are derived from temporal analysis of the dynamic scattering signal, closely related to tracer concentration. Since DyC-OCT does not require calibration of the optical focus, quantitative accuracy is achieved even deep in highly scattering brain tissue where the focal spot degrades. After direct validation of DyC-OCT against dilution curves measured using a fluorescent plasma label in surface pial vessels, we used DyC-OCT to investigate the transit time distribution in microvasculature across the entire depth of the mouse somatosensory cortex. Laminar trends were identified, with earlier transit times and less heterogeneity in the middle cortical layers. The early transit times in the middle cortical layers may explain, at least in part, the early BOLD fMRI onset times observed in these layers. The layer-dependencies in heterogeneity may help explain how a single vascular supply manages to deliver oxygen to individual cortical layers with diverse metabolic needs.

  7. In vivo 3D morphology of astrocyte–vasculature interactions in the somatosensory cortex: implications for neurovascular coupling

    PubMed Central

    McCaslin, Addason F H; Chen, Brenda R; Radosevich, Andrew J; Cauli, Bruno; Hillman, Elizabeth M C

    2011-01-01

    Astrocytes are increasingly believed to play an important role in neurovascular coupling. Recent in vivo studies have shown that intracellular calcium levels in astrocytes correlate with reactivity in adjacent diving arterioles. However, the hemodynamic response to stimulation involves a complex orchestration of vessel dilations and constrictions that spread rapidly over wide distances. In this work, we study the three-dimensional cytoarchitecture of astrocytes and their interrelations with blood vessels down through layer IV of the mouse somatosensory cortex using in vivo two-photon microscopy. Vessels and astrocytes were visualized through intravenous dextran-conjugated fluorescein and cortically applied sulforhodamine 101 (SR101), respectively. In addition to exploring astrocyte density, vascular proximity, and microvascular density, we found that sheathing of subpial vessels by astrocyte processes was continuous along all capillaries, arterioles, and veins, comprising a highly interconnected pathway through which signals could feasibly be relayed over long distances via gap junctions. An inner SR101-positive sheath noted along pial and diving arterioles was determined to be nonastrocytic, and appears to represent selective SR101 staining of arterial endothelial cells. Our findings underscore the intimate relationship between astrocytes and all cortical blood vessels, and suggest that astrocytes could influence neurovascular regulation at a range of sites, including the capillary bed and pial arterioles. PMID:21139630

  8. Somatotopic direct projections from orofacial areas of primary somatosensory cortex to pons and medulla, especially to trigeminal sensory nuclear complex, in rats.

    PubMed

    Tomita, A; Kato, T; Sato, F; Haque, T; Oka, A; Yamamoto, M; Ono, T; Bae, Y-C; Maeda, Y; Sessle, B J; Yoshida, A

    2012-01-03

    The primary somatosensory cortex (S1) projects to the thalamus and brainstem somatosensory nuclei and modulates somatosensory information ascending to the S1 itself. However, the projections from the S1 to the brainstem second-order somatosensory neuron pools have not been fully studied. To address this in rats, we first revealed the somatotopic representation of orofacial areas in the S1 by recording cortical surface potentials evoked by stimulation of the lingual, mental, infraorbital, and frontal nerves. We then examined the morphology of descending projections from the electrophysiologically defined orofacial S1 areas to the pons and medulla after injections of an anterograde tracer, biotinylated dextranamine (BDA), into the orofacial S1 areas. BDA-labeled axon terminals were seen mostly in the trigeminal sensory nuclear complex (TSNC) and had a strong contralateral predominance. They also showed a somatotopic arrangement in dorsoventral and superficial-deep directions within almost all rostrocaudal TSNC levels, and in a rostrocaudal direction within the trigeminal caudal subnucleus. In the principal nucleus (Vp) or oral subnucleus (Vo) of TSNC, the BDA-labeled axon terminals showed a somatotopic arrangement closely matched to that of the electrophysiologically defined projection sites of orofacial primary afferents; these projection sites were marked by injections of a retrograde tracer, Fluorogold (FG), into the Vp or Vo. The FG injections labeled a large number of S1 neurons, with a strong contralateral predominance, in a somatotopic manner, which corresponded to that presented in the electrophysiologically defined orofacial S1 areas. The present results suggest that the orofacial S1 projections to somatotopically matched regions of trigeminal second-order somatosensory neuron pools may allow the orofacial S1 to accurately modulate orofacial somatosensory transmission to higher brain centers including the orofacial S1 itself. Copyright © 2011 IBRO

  9. Hemicerebellectomy impairs the modulation of cutaneomuscular reflexes by the motor cortex following repetitive somatosensory stimulation.

    PubMed

    Oulad Ben Taib, Nordeyn; Manto, Mario

    2006-05-23

    We examined the cutaneomuscular reflex of the plantaris muscle of rats in response to cutaneous stimulation in isolation and in conjunction with subthreshold high-frequency trains of stimuli applied on the motor cortex, prior to and following repetitive peripheral stimulation. The cutaneomuscular reflex was also investigated under the same paradigm following hemicerebellectomy. The enhancement of cutaneomuscular responses associated with subthreshold high-frequency trains of stimulation following repetitive peripheral stimulation was prevented by hemicerebellectomy. Our results suggest that the pathways passing through the cerebellum are involved in the calibration of cutaneomuscular responses.

  10. Surface Based Analysis of Diffusion Orientation for Identifying Architectonic Domains in the In Vivo Human Cortex

    PubMed Central

    McNab, Jennifer A.; Polimeni, Jonathan R.; Wang, Ruopeng; Augustinack, Jean C.; Fujimoto, Kyoko; Player, Allison; Janssens, Thomas; Farivar, Reza; Folkerth, Rebecca D.; Vanduffel, Wim; Wald, Lawrence L.

    2012-01-01

    Diffusion tensor MRI is sensitive to the coherent structure of brain tissue and is commonly used to study large-scale white matter structure. Diffusion in grey matter is more isotropic, however, several groups have observed coherent patterns of diffusion anisotropy within the cerebral cortical grey matter. We extend the study of cortical diffusion anisotropy by relating it to the local coordinate system of the folded cerebral cortex. We use 1mm and sub-millimeter isotropic resolution diffusion imaging to perform a laminar analysis of the principal diffusion orientation, fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity and partial volume effects. Data from 6 in vivo human subjects, a fixed human brain specimen and an anesthetized macaque were examined. Large regions of cortex show a radial diffusion orientation. In vivo human and macaque data displayed a sharp transition from radial to tangential diffusion orientation at the border between primary motor and somatosensory cortex, and some evidence of tangential diffusion in secondary somatosensory cortex and primary auditory cortex. Ex vivo diffusion imaging in a human tissue sample showed some tangential diffusion orientation in S1 but mostly radial diffusion orientations in both M1 and S1. PMID:23247190

  11. Distribution of NADPH-d positive neurons during postnatal development of the rat somatosensory cortex correlates with gradients of neurogenesis and development.

    PubMed

    Bravo, H; Inzunza, O; Fernández, V; Sanhueza, M

    1997-10-03

    The expression of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase (NADPH-d) was studied in the rat somatosensory cortex during postnatal development from day 6 to 120. Distribution of labeled neurons was quantified in dorso-medial and ventro-lateral aspects of the cortex, and correlated with known tridimensional gradients of histogenetic development and maturation of cortical neurons. NADPH positive neurons were non-pyramidal cells that in all developmental periods were more numerous in infragranular than in supragranular layers of the cortex. Additionally, more labeled cells were found in ventro-lateral than dorso-medial infragranular layers and in anterior than posterior aspects of the cerebral cortex. These patterns of distribution correlate well with the gradients of histogenetic development and with the pattern of maturation of cortical neurons.

  12. Sleep contributes to dendritic spine formation and elimination in the developing mouse somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Yang, Guang; Gan, Wen-Biao

    2012-11-01

    Sleep is maximal during early postnatal life when rapid and extensive synapse remodeling occurs. It remains unknown whether and how sleep affects synapse development and plasticity. Using transcranial two-photon microscopy, we examined the formation and elimination of fluorescently labeled dendritic spines and filopodia of Layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the barrel cortex of 3-week-old mice during wakefulness and sleep. We observed high turnover of dendritic protrusions over 2 h in both wake and sleep states. The formation rate of dendritic spines or filopodia over 2 h was comparable between the two states. The elimination rate of dendritic spines or filopodia was lower during 2-h wakefulness than during 2-h sleep. Similar results were observed on dendritic protrusion dynamics over 12-h light/dark cycle when mice spent more time asleep or awake. The substantial remodeling of dendritic protrusions during the sleep state supports the notion that sleep plays an important role in the development and plasticity of synaptic connections in the mouse cortex.

  13. Context-Dependent Modulation of Functional Connectivity: Secondary Somatosensory Cortex to Prefrontal Cortex Connections in Two-Stimulus-Interval Discrimination Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Chow, Stephanie S.; Romo, Ranulfo; Brody, Carlos D.

    2010-01-01

    In a complex world, a sensory cue may prompt different actions in different contexts. A laboratory example of context-dependent sensory processing is the two-stimulus-interval discrimination task. In each trial, a first stimulus (f1) must be stored in short-term memory and later compared with a second stimulus (f2), for the animal to come to a binary decision. Prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons need to interpret the f1 information in one way (perhaps with a positive weight) and the f2 information in an opposite way (perhaps with a negative weight), although they come from the very same secondary somatosensory cortex (S2) neurons; therefore, a functional sign inversion is required. This task thus provides a clear example of context-dependent processing. Here we develop a biologically plausible model of a context-dependent signal transformation of the stimulus encoding from S2 to PFC. To ground our model in experimental neurophysiology, we use neurophysiological data recorded by R. Romo’s laboratory from both cortical area S2 and PFC in monkeys performing the task. Our main goal is to use experimentally observed context-dependent modulations of firing rates in cortical area S2 as the basis for a model that achieves a context-dependent inversion of the sign of S2 to PFC connections. This is done without requiring any changes in connectivity (Salinas, 2004b). We (1) characterize the experimentally observed context-dependent firing rate modulation in area S2, (2) construct a model that results in the sign transformation, and (3) characterize the robustness and consequent biological plausibility of the model. PMID:19494146

  14. Line scanning fMRI reveals earlier onset of optogenetically evoked BOLD response in rat somatosensory cortex as compared to sensory stimulation.

    PubMed

    Albers, Franziska; Schmid, Florian; Wachsmuth, Lydia; Faber, Cornelius

    2016-12-21

    The combination of optogenetic control and fMRI readout in the brain is increasingly used to assess neuronal networks and underlying signal processing. However, how exactly optogenetic activation or inhibition reproduces normal physiological input has not been fully unraveled. To assess details of temporal dynamics of the hemodynamic response, temporal resolution in rodent fMRI is often not sufficient. Recent advances in human fMRI using faster acquisition schemes cannot be easily translated to small animals due to smaller dimensions, fast physiological motion, and higher sensitivity to artefacts. Here, we applied a one dimensional line scanning acquisition with 50ms temporal resolution in rat somatosensory cortex. We observed that optogenetic activation reproduces the hemodynamic response upon sensory stimulation, but shows a 160 to 340ms earlier onset of the response. This difference is explained by direct activation of all opsin-expressing and illuminated cortical layers, while hemodynamic response to sensory stimulation is delayed during intracortical transmission between cortical layers. Our results confirm that optogenetic activation is a valid model for physiological neuronal input, and that differences in temporal behavior of only a few hundred milliseconds can be resolved in rodent fMRI.

  15. La3+ Alters the Response Properties of Neurons in the Mouse Primary Somatosensory Cortex to Low-Temperature Noxious Stimulation of the Dental Pulp

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Yanjiao

    2015-01-01

    Although dental pain is a serious health issue with high incidence among the human population, its cellular and molecular mechanisms are still unclear. Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are assumed to be involved in the generation of dental pain. However, most of the studies were conducted with molecular biological or histological methods. In vivo functional studies on the role of TRP channels in the mechanisms of dental pain are lacking. This study uses in vivo cellular electrophysiological and neuropharmacological method to directly disclose the effect of LaCl3, a broad spectrum TRP channel blocker, on the response properties of neurons in the mouse primary somatosensory cortex to low-temperature noxious stimulation of the dental pulp. It was found that LaCl3 suppresses the high-firing-rate responses of all nociceptive neurons to noxious low-temperature stimulation and also inhibits the spontaneous activities in some nonnociceptive neurons. The effect of LaCl3 is reversible. Furthermore, this effect is persistent and stable unless LaCl3 is washed out. Washout of LaCl3 quickly revitalized the responsiveness of neurons to low-temperature noxious stimulation. This study adds direct evidence for the hypothesis that TRP channels are involved in the generation of dental pain and sensation. Blockade of TRP channels may provide a novel therapeutic treatment for dental pain. PMID:26604777

  16. Tactile impoverishment and sensorimotor restriction deteriorate the forepaw cutaneous map in the primary somatosensory cortex of adult rats.

    PubMed

    Coq, J O; Xerri, C

    1999-12-01

    We investigated the effects of sensory deprivation on the forepaw representation in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) in the adult rat. Cortical maps were constructed from high-resolution multiunit recordings of the response of layer IV neurons to somatosensory stimuli. The main features of the forepaw representation were described in terms of areal extent and topography of the cortical map, and sensory submodality, size, and location of the receptive field (RF) of small clusters of the cortical neurons. After being weaned, two groups of Long-Evans rats were housed in a standard (SE) or impoverished (IE) environment for 65-115 days. A third group of SE rats was subjected to severe sensorimotor restriction (SR) of one forepaw for 7 days or 14 days, by using a one-sleeved cast. A concomitant effect of unilateral forelimb immobilization was a forced use of the nonrestricted forelimb in postural balance. The maps of both forepaws were derived 24 h after the cast was removed and the animal was allowed normal limb use. In a fourth group, SE rats experienced a 7-day immobilization followed by symmetrical limb use for 7 days before we mapped the hemisphere contralateral to the casted limb. For the SE and IE rats, the total areal extent of the cutaneous forepaw representation was similar, but IE rats exhibited a significant expansion of cortical islets serving high-threshold, presumably noncutaneous inputs, which were included in the cutaneous maps. In addition, SI neurons of IE rats had greatly enlarged glabrous, but not hairy, skin RFs. For the SR rats, the areal extent of the cutaneous map of the casted forepaw decreased by about 50%, after both 7- and 14-day forelimb immobilization. Large cortical sectors presumed to be formerly activated by cutaneous inputs were driven by high-threshold inputs that disrupted the somatotopic representation of the forepaw skin surfaces. These "emergent" representational sectors were topographically organized. By contrast, the areal

  17. Developmental maturation of excitation and inhibition balance in principal neurons across four layers of somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhi; Jiao, Yuan-Yuan; Sun, Qian-Quan

    2010-01-01

    In adult cortices, the ratio of excitatory and inhibitory conductances (E/I ratio) is presumably balanced across a wide range of stimulus conditions. However, it is unknown how the E/I ratio is postnatally regulated, when the strength of synapses are rapidly changing. Yet, understanding of such a process is critically important, because there are numerous neuropsychological disorders, such as autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia, are associated with disturbed E/I balances. Here we directly measured the E/I ratio underlying locally induced synaptic conductances in principal neurons from postnatal day 8 through 60. We found that 1) within each developmental period, the E/I ratio across 4 major cortical layers was maintained at a similar value under wide range of stimulation intensities; and 2) there was a rapid developmental decrease in the E/I ratio, which occurred within a sensitive period between P8 to P18 with exception of layer II/III. By comparing the excitatory and inhibitory conductances, as well as key synaptic protein expressions, we found a net increase in the number and strength of inhibitory, but not excitatory synapses, is responsible for the developmental decrease in the E/I ratio in the barrel cortex. The inhibitory markers were intrinsically co-regulated, gave rise to a sharp increase in the inhibitory conductance from P8 to P18. These results suggest that the tightly regulated E/I ratios in adults cortex is a result of drastic changes in relative weight of inhibitory but not excitatory synapses during critical period, and the local inhibitory structural changes are the underpinning of altered E/I ratio across postnatal development. PMID:21115101

  18. The somatosensory representation of the human clitoris: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Michels, Lars; Mehnert, Ulrich; Boy, Sönke; Schurch, Brigitte; Kollias, Spyros

    2010-01-01

    We studied the central representation of pudendal afferents arising from the clitoral nerves in 15 healthy adult female subjects using electrical dorsal clitoral nerve stimulation and fMRI. As a control body region, we electrically stimulated the right hallux in eight subjects. In a block design experiment, we applied bilateral clitoral stimulation and unilateral (right) hallux stimulation. Activation maps were calculated for the contrasts 'electrical dorsal clitoral nerve stimulation versus rest' and 'electrical hallux stimulation versus rest'. A random-effect group analysis for the clitoral stimulation showed significant activations bilateral in the superior and inferior frontal gyri, insulae and putamen and in the postcentral, precentral and inferior parietal gyri (including the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices). No activation was found on the mesial surface of the postcentral gyrus. For the hallux, activations occurred in a similar neuronal network but the activation in the primary somatosensory cortex was localized in the inter-hemispheric fissure. The results of this study demonstrate that the central representation of pudendal afferents arising from the clitoral nerves and sensory inputs from the hallux can be studied and distinguished from each other by fMRI. From the somatotopic order described in the somatosensory homunculus one would expect for electrical clitoral nerve stimulation activation of the mesial wall of the postcentral gyrus. In contrast, we found activations on the lateral surface of the postcentral gyrus.

  19. Role of somatosensory and vestibular cues in attenuating visually induced human postural sway

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterka, R. J.; Benolken, M. S.

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the contribution of visual, vestibular, and somatosensory cues to the maintenance of stance in humans. Postural sway was induced by full-field, sinusoidal visual surround rotations about an axis at the level of the ankle joints. The influences of vestibular and somatosensory cues were characterized by comparing postural sway in normal and bilateral vestibular absent subjects in conditions that provided either accurate or inaccurate somatosensory orientation information. In normal subjects, the amplitude of visually induced sway reached a saturation level as stimulus amplitude increased. The saturation amplitude decreased with increasing stimulus frequency. No saturation phenomena were observed in subjects with vestibular loss, implying that vestibular cues were responsible for the saturation phenomenon. For visually induced sways below the saturation level, the stimulus-response curves for both normal subjects and subjects experiencing vestibular loss were nearly identical, implying (1) that normal subjects were not using vestibular information to attenuate their visually induced sway, possibly because sway was below a vestibular-related threshold level, and (2) that subjects with vestibular loss did not utilize visual cues to a greater extent than normal subjects; that is, a fundamental change in visual system "gain" was not used to compensate for a vestibular deficit. An unexpected finding was that the amplitude of body sway induced by visual surround motion could be almost 3 times greater than the amplitude of the visual stimulus in normal subjects and subjects with vestibular loss. This occurred in conditions where somatosensory cues were inaccurate and at low stimulus amplitudes. A control system model of visually induced postural sway was developed to explain this finding. For both subject groups, the amplitude of visually induced sway was smaller by a factor of about 4 in tests where somatosensory cues provided

  20. Role of somatosensory and vestibular cues in attenuating visually induced human postural sway

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterka, Robert J.; Benolken, Martha S.

    1993-01-01

    The purpose was to determine the contribution of visual, vestibular, and somatosensory cues to the maintenance of stance in humans. Postural sway was induced by full field, sinusoidal visual surround rotations about an axis at the level of the ankle joints. The influences of vestibular and somatosensory cues were characterized by comparing postural sway in normal and bilateral vestibular absent subjects in conditions that provided either accurate or inaccurate somatosensory orientation information. In normal subjects, the amplitude of visually induced sway reached a saturation level as stimulus amplitude increased. The saturation amplitude decreased with increasing stimulus frequency. No saturation phenomena was observed in subjects with vestibular loss, implying that vestibular cues were responsible for the saturation phenomenon. For visually induced sways below the saturation level, the stimulus-response curves for both normal and vestibular loss subjects were nearly identical implying that (1) normal subjects were not using vestibular information to attenuate their visually induced sway, possibly because sway was below a vestibular-related threshold level, and (2) vestibular loss subjects did not utilize visual cues to a greater extent than normal subjects; that is, a fundamental change in visual system 'gain' was not used to compensate for a vestibular deficit. An unexpected finding was that the amplitude of body sway induced by visual surround motion could be almost three times greater than the amplitude of the visual stimulus in normals and vestibular loss subjects. This occurred in conditions where somatosensory cues were inaccurate and at low stimulus amplitudes. A control system model of visually induced postural sway was developed to explain this finding. For both subject groups, the amplitude of visually induced sway was smaller by a factor of about four in tests where somatosensory cues provided accurate versus inaccurate orientation information. This

  1. Role of somatosensory and vestibular cues in attenuating visually induced human postural sway

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterka, R. J.; Benolken, M. S.

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the contribution of visual, vestibular, and somatosensory cues to the maintenance of stance in humans. Postural sway was induced by full-field, sinusoidal visual surround rotations about an axis at the level of the ankle joints. The influences of vestibular and somatosensory cues were characterized by comparing postural sway in normal and bilateral vestibular absent subjects in conditions that provided either accurate or inaccurate somatosensory orientation information. In normal subjects, the amplitude of visually induced sway reached a saturation level as stimulus amplitude increased. The saturation amplitude decreased with increasing stimulus frequency. No saturation phenomena were observed in subjects with vestibular loss, implying that vestibular cues were responsible for the saturation phenomenon. For visually induced sways below the saturation level, the stimulus-response curves for both normal subjects and subjects experiencing vestibular loss were nearly identical, implying (1) that normal subjects were not using vestibular information to attenuate their visually induced sway, possibly because sway was below a vestibular-related threshold level, and (2) that subjects with vestibular loss did not utilize visual cues to a greater extent than normal subjects; that is, a fundamental change in visual system "gain" was not used to compensate for a vestibular deficit. An unexpected finding was that the amplitude of body sway induced by visual surround motion could be almost 3 times greater than the amplitude of the visual stimulus in normal subjects and subjects with vestibular loss. This occurred in conditions where somatosensory cues were inaccurate and at low stimulus amplitudes. A control system model of visually induced postural sway was developed to explain this finding. For both subject groups, the amplitude of visually induced sway was smaller by a factor of about 4 in tests where somatosensory cues provided

  2. Insula and sensory insular cortex and somatosensory control in patients with insular stroke.

    PubMed

    Baier, B; zu Eulenburg, P; Geber, C; Rohde, F; Rolke, R; Maihöfner, C; Birklein, F; Dieterich, M

    2014-11-01

    In functional imaging studies, the insular cortex (IC) has been identified as an essential part of the processing of a whole spectrum of multimodal sensory input. However, there are no lesion studies including a sufficient number of patients, which would reinforce the functional imaging data obtained from healthy subjects. Such lesion studies should examine how damage to the IC affects sensory perception. We chose acute stroke patients with lesions affecting the IC in order to fill this gap. A comprehensive sensory profiling by applying a quantitative sensory testing protocol was performed and a voxel-lesion behaviour mapping analysis in 24 patients with acute unilateral cortical damage was applied. Our data demonstrate that patients with lesions of the posterior IC have deficits in temperature perception, but did not show other sensory deficits such as hot or cold pain perception associated with specific lesion locations. Our data allow the conclusion that the posterior IC may represent the major region responsible for encoding warm and cold perception in the brain. To what extent focal IC lesions may also impair pain processing or induce post-stroke pain has to be addressed in future studies including more patients. © 2014 European Pain Federation - EFIC®

  3. Low-noise encoding of active touch by layer 4 in the somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Andrew Hires, Samuel; Gutnisky, Diego A; Yu, Jianing; O'Connor, Daniel H; Svoboda, Karel

    2015-01-01

    Cortical spike trains often appear noisy, with the timing and number of spikes varying across repetitions of stimuli. Spiking variability can arise from internal (behavioral state, unreliable neurons, or chaotic dynamics in neural circuits) and external (uncontrolled behavior or sensory stimuli) sources. The amount of irreducible internal noise in spike trains, an important constraint on models of cortical networks, has been difficult to estimate, since behavior and brain state must be precisely controlled or tracked. We recorded from excitatory barrel cortex neurons in layer 4 during active behavior, where mice control tactile input through learned whisker movements. Touch was the dominant sensorimotor feature, with >70% spikes occurring in millisecond timescale epochs after touch onset. The variance of touch responses was smaller than expected from Poisson processes, often reaching the theoretical minimum. Layer 4 spike trains thus reflect the millisecond-timescale structure of tactile input with little noise. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06619.001 PMID:26245232

  4. Changes in Somatosensory Responsiveness in Behaving Monkeys and Human Sub

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-08-30

    ketamine hydrochloride and amicroelectrodeplaced in the cortex, in turn, at each of several points of interest. Small electrolytic lesions were made at... lesions tracks before and after embedding and sectioning the material. Every attempt was made to determine from which cytoarchitectonic region each...simultaneously testing behavioral performance or neurologica function during somatosensorimotor and visuomotor tasks. This work was published during the term ot

  5. Structural alterations of spiny stellate cells in the somatosensory cortex in ephrin-A5-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Guellmar, André; Rudolph, Judith; Bolz, Jürgen

    2009-12-10

    Previous studies demonstrated that in ephrin-A5-deficient mice corticothalamic arbors are reduced by more than 50% in layer 4 of the somatosensory cortex (S1), where ephrin-A5 is normally expressed. Here we examined possible consequences of the reduced thalamic input on spiny stellate cells, the target neurons of thalamocortical afferents. Using ballistic delivery of particles coated with lipophilic dyes in fixed slices and confocal laser-microscopy, we could quantitatively analyze the morphology of these neurons. Cells were examined in S1 at postnatal day 8 (P8), when thalamic afferents establish synaptic contacts and the dendrites of their target cells are covered with filopodia, and at P23, after synapse formation and replacement of filopodia by spines. Our results indicate that at P8 the dendrites of cells in mutant animals exhibit more filopodia and are more branched than dendrites of wildtype cells. In contrast, there is no difference in the extent of the dendritic tree between knockout and control animals. At P23, dendrites of neurons in ephrin-A5-deficient mice are still more branched, but possess fewer spines than wildtype cells. Thus, at early stages layer 4 neurons appear to compensate the reduced thalamic input by increasing dendritic branching and the density of filopodia. However, while at later stages the dendrites of layer 4 neurons in mutants are still more branched, their spine density is now lower than in wildtype cells. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the structure of spiny stellate cells is shaped by thalamic input and Eph receptor signaling.

  6. Topographical organization of pathways from somatosensory cortex through the pontine nuclei to tactile regions of the rat cerebellar hemispheres.

    PubMed

    Leergaard, Trygve B; Lillehaug, Sveinung; De Schutter, Erik; Bower, James M; Bjaalie, Jan G

    2006-11-01

    The granule cell layer of the cerebellar hemispheres contains a patchy and noncontinuous map of the body surface, consisting of a complex mosaic of multiple perioral tactile representations. Previous physiological studies have shown that cerebrocerebellar mossy fibre projections, conveyed through the pontine nuclei, are mapped in registration with peripheral tactile projections to the cerebellum. In contrast to the fractured cerebellar map, the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) is somatotopically organized. To understand better the map transformation occurring in cerebrocerebellar pathways, we injected axonal tracers in electrophysiologically defined locations in Sprague-Dawley rat folium crus IIa, and mapped the distribution of retrogradely labelled neurons within the pontine nuclei using three-dimensional (3-D) reconstructions. Tracer injections within the large central upper lip patch in crus IIa-labelled neurons located centrally in the pontine nuclei, primarily contralateral to the injected side. Larger injections (covering multiple crus IIa perioral representations) resulted in labelling extending only slightly beyond this region, with a higher density and more ipsilaterally labelled neurons. Combined axonal tracer injections in upper lip representations in SI and crus IIa, revealed a close spatial correspondence between the cerebropontine terminal fields and the crus IIa projecting neurons. Finally, comparisons with previously published three-dimensional distributions of pontine neurons labelled following tracer injections in face receiving regions in the paramedian lobule (downloaded from http://www.rbwb.org) revealed similar correspondence. The present data support the coherent topographical organization of cerebro-ponto-cerebellar networks previously suggested from physiological studies. We discuss the present findings in the context of transformations from cerebral somatotopic to cerebellar fractured tactile representations.

  7. Cutaneous stimulation of the digits and lips evokes responses with different adaptation patterns in primary somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Popescu, Mihai; Barlow, Steven; Popescu, Elena-Anda; Estep, Meredith E.; Venkatesan, Lalit; Auer, Edward T.; Brooks, William M.

    2010-01-01

    Neuromagnetic evoked fields were recorded to compare the adaptation of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) response to tactile stimuli delivered to the glabrous skin at the fingertips of the first three digits (condition 1) and between midline upper and lower lips (condition 2). The stimulation paradigm allowed to characterize the response adaptation in the presence of functional integration of tactile stimuli from adjacent skin areas in each condition. At each stimulation site, cutaneous stimuli (50 ms duration) were delivered in three runs, using trains of 6 pulses with regular stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). The pulses were separated by SOAs of 500 ms, 250 ms or 125 ms in each run, respectively, while the inter-train interval was fixed (5 s) across runs. The evoked activity in SI (contralateral to the stimulated hand, and bilaterally for lips stimulation) was characterized from the best-fit dipoles of the response component peaking around 70 ms for the hand stimulation, and 8 ms earlier (on average) for the lips stimulation. The SOA-dependent long-term adaptation effects were assessed from the change in the amplitude of the responses to the first stimulus in each train. The short-term adaptation was characterized by the lifetime of an exponentially saturating model function fitted to the set of suppression ratios of the second relative to the first SI response in each train. Our results indicate: 1) the presence of a rate-dependent long-term adaptation effect induced only by the tactile stimulation of the digits; and 2) shorter recovery lifetimes for the digits compared with the lips stimulation. PMID:20561996

  8. Laminar microvascular transit time distribution in the mouse somatosensory cortex revealed by Dynamic Contrast Optical Coherence Tomography

    PubMed Central

    Merkle, Conrad W.; Srinivasan, Vivek J.

    2015-01-01

    The transit time distribution of blood through the cerebral microvasculature both constrains oxygen delivery and governs the kinetics of neuroimaging signals such as blood-oxygen-level-dependent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (BOLD fMRI). However, in spite of its importance, capillary transit time distribution has been challenging to quantify comprehensively and efficiently at the microscopic level. Here, we introduce a method, called Dynamic Contrast Optical Coherence Tomography (DyC-OCT), based on dynamic cross-sectional OCT imaging of an intravascular tracer as it passes through the field-of-view. Quantitative transit time metrics are derived from temporal analysis of the dynamic scattering signal, closely related to tracer concentration. Since DyC-OCT does not require calibration of the optical focus, quantitative accuracy is achieved even deep in highly scattering brain tissue where the focal spot degrades. After direct validation of DyC-OCT against dilution curves measured using a fluorescent plasma label in surface pial vessels, we used DyC-OCT to investigate the transit time distribution in microvasculature across the entire depth of the mouse somatosensory cortex. Laminar trends were identified, with earlier transit times and less heterogeneity in the middle cortical layers. The early transit times in the middle cortical layers may explain, at least in part, the early BOLD fMRI onset times observed in these layers. The layer-dependencies in heterogeneity may help explain how a single vascular supply manages to deliver oxygen to individual cortical layers with diverse metabolic needs. PMID:26477654

  9. Functionally independent columns of rat somatosensory barrel cortex revealed with voltage-sensitive dye imaging.

    PubMed

    Petersen, C C; Sakmann, B

    2001-11-01

    Whisker movement is somatotopically represented in rodent neocortex by electrical activity in clearly defined barrels, which can be visualized in living brain slices. The functional architecture of this part of the cortex can thus be mapped in vitro with respect to its physiological input and compared with its anatomical architecture. The spatial extent of excitation was measured at high temporal resolution by imaging optical signals from voltage-sensitive dye evoked by stimulation of individual barrels in layer 4. The optical signals correlated closely with subthreshold EPSPs recorded simultaneously from excitatory neurons in layer 4 and layer 2/3, respectively. Excitation was initially (<2 msec) limited to the stimulated barrel and subsequently (>3 msec) spread in a columnar manner into layer 2/3 and then subsided in both layers after approximately 50 msec. The lateral extent of the response was limited to the cortical column defined structurally by the barrel in layer 4. Two experimental interventions increased the spread of excitation. First, blocking GABA(A) receptor-mediated synaptic inhibition caused excitation to spread laterally throughout wide regions of layer 2/3 and layer 5 but not into neighboring barrels, suggesting that the local excitatory connections within layer 4 are restricted to single barrels and that inhibitory neurons control spread in supragranular and infragranular layers. Second, NMDA receptor-dependent increase of the spread of excitation was induced by pairing repetitive stimulation of a barrel column with coincident stimulation of layer 2/3 in a neighboring column. Such plasticity in the spatial extent of excitation in a barrel column could underlie changes in cortical map structure induced by alterations of sensory experience.

  10. Ultra high-resolution fMRI and electrophysiology of the rat primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Shih, Yen-Yu Ian; Chen, You-Yin; Lai, Hsin-Yi; Kao, Yu-Chieh Jill; Shyu, Bai-Chuang; Duong, Timothy Q

    2013-06-01

    High-resolution functional-magnetic-resonance-imaging (fMRI) has been used to study brain functions at increasingly finer scale, but whether fMRI can accurately reflect layer-specific neuronal activities is less well understood. The present study investigated layer-specific cerebral-blood-volume (CBV) fMRI and electrophysiological responses in the rat cortex. CBV fMRI at 40×40 μm in-plane resolution was performed on an 11.7-T scanner. Electrophysiology used a 32-channel electrode array that spanned the entire cortical depth. Graded electrical stimulation was used to study activations in different cortical layers, exploiting the notion that most of the sensory-specific neurons are in layers II-V and most of the nociceptive-specific neurons are in layers V-VI. CBV response was strongest in layer IV of all stimulus amplitudes. Current source density analysis showed strong sink currents at cortical layers IV and VI. Multi-unit activities mainly appeared at layers IV-VI and peaked at layer V. Although our measures showed scaled activation profiles during modulation of stimulus amplitude and failed to detect specific recruitment at layers V and VI during noxious electrical stimuli, there appears to be discordance between CBV fMRI and electrophysiological peak responses, suggesting neurovascular uncoupling at laminar resolution. The technique implemented in the present study offers a means to investigate intracortical neurovascular function in the normal and diseased animal models at laminar resolution. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. A case of superficial hemisensory dysfunction due to operculo-insular infarction: radiological depiction of thalamocortical projections to the secondary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Hirayama, Takehisa; Ikeda, Ken; Kawabe, Kiyokazu; Ishikawa, Yuichi; Iwamoto, Konosuke; Harada, Hisanobu; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Iwasaki, Yasuo

    2014-01-01

    A 64-year-old obese man developed hypesthesia in the left arm and leg. Neurological examination revealed decreased senses of pain, touch, and temperature in the left face, arm, trunk, and leg. Remaining functions were normal. Electrocardiogram showed atrial fibrillation. Somatosensory-evoked potentials using the stimulation in the median nerve were normal on both sides. Brain magnetic resonance imaging revealed acute infarction in the right parietal operculum and insula. There were no pathognomonic lesions in the postcentral gyrus, the thalamus, or the brain stem. Cardioembolic operculo-insular infarction was diagnosed. Diffusion tensor tractography map displayed the thalamocortical projections to the primary and the secondary somatosensory cortex (S2). These radiological findings supported that the operculo-insular lesion could disrupt the thalamo-S2 pathway. Thus, the thalamocortical disconnection between the thalamus to the S2 could cause superficial hemisensory dysfunction in the present patient.

  12. Shifts in Developmental Timing, and Not Increased Levels of Experience-Dependent Neuronal Activity, Promote Barrel Expansion in the Primary Somatosensory Cortex of Rats Enucleated at Birth

    PubMed Central

    Fetter-Pruneda, Ingrid; Ibarrarán-Viniegra, Ana Sofía; Martínez-Martínez, Eduardo; Sandoval-Velasco, Marcela; Uribe-Figueroa, Laura; Padilla-Cortés, Patricia; Mercado-Célis, Gabriela; Gutiérrez-Ospina, Gabriel

    2013-01-01

    Birth-enucleated rodents display enlarged representations of whiskers (i.e., barrels of the posteromedial subfield) in the primary somatosensory cortex. Although the historical view maintains that barrel expansion is due to incremental increases in neuronal activity along the trigeminal pathway during postnatal development, recent evidence obtained in experimental models of intramodal plasticity challenges this view. Here, we re-evaluate the role of experience-dependent neuronal activity on barrel expansion in birth-enucleated rats by combining various anatomical methods and sensory deprivation paradigms. We show that barrels in birth-enucleated rats were already enlarged by the end of the first week of life and had levels of metabolic activity comparable to those in control rats at different ages. Dewhiskering after the postnatal period of barrel formation did not prevent barrel expansion in adult, birth-enucleated rats. Further, dark rearing and enucleation after barrel formation did not lead to expanded barrels in adult brains. Because incremental increases of somatosensory experience did not promote barrel expansion in birth-enucleated rats, we explored whether shifts of the developmental timing could better explain barrel expansion during the first week of life. Accordingly, birth-enucleated rats show earlier formation of barrels, accelerated growth of somatosensory thalamocortical afferents, and an earlier H4 deacetylation. Interestingly, when H4 deacetylation was prevented with a histone deacetylases inhibitor (valproic acid), barrel specification timing returned to normal and barrel expansion did not occur. Thus, we provide evidence supporting that shifts in developmental timing modulated through epigenetic mechanisms, and not increased levels of experience dependent neuronal activity, promote barrel expansion in the primary somatosensory cortex of rats enucleated at birth. PMID:23372796

  13. Somatosensory-related gamma-, beta- and alpha-augmentation precedes alpha- and beta-attenuation in humans

    PubMed Central

    Fukuda, Miho; Juhász, Csaba; Hoechstetter, Karsten; Sood, Sandeep; Asano, Eishi

    2009-01-01

    Objective A number of human studies have demonstrated that the amplitudes of cortical oscillations are altered by various sensorimotor and cognitive tasks. Event-related augmentation of gamma-oscillations and attenuation of alpha- and beta-oscillations have been often used as surrogate markers of cortical activation elicited by tasks especially in presurgical identification of eloquent cortices. In the present study, we addressed a question whether somatosensory-related gamma-augmentation ‘precedes’ or ‘co-occurs with’ somatosensory-related attenuation of alpha-beta oscillations. Methods We studied 10 patients who underwent intracranial electrocorticography for epilepsy surgery, and determined the temporal and spatial characteristics of median-nerve somatosensory-related amplitude changes at gamma- (30–100 Hz), beta- (14–28 Hz) and alpha-band (8–12 Hz) oscillations. Results We found that somatosensory-related gamma-augmentation involving the post- and pre-central gyri evolved into beta- and alpha-augmentation, which was subsequently followed by beta- and alpha-attenuation involving the post- and pre-central gyri. Conclusions These observations support the hypothesis that somatosensory-related gamma-augmentation but not alpha-beta attenuation represents the initial cortical processing for external somatosensory stimuli. Somatosensory-related alpha-beta attenuation appears to represent a temporally distinct stage of somatosensory processing. Significance The present study has increased our understanding of event-related gamma-augmentation and alpha-beta attenuation seen on electrocorticography. PMID:20075003

  14. Mapping Prefrontal Cortex Functions in Human Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grossmann, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    It has long been thought that the prefrontal cortex, as the seat of most higher brain functions, is functionally silent during most of infancy. This review highlights recent work concerned with the precise mapping (localization) of brain activation in human infants, providing evidence that prefrontal cortex exhibits functional activation much…

  15. Mapping Prefrontal Cortex Functions in Human Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grossmann, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    It has long been thought that the prefrontal cortex, as the seat of most higher brain functions, is functionally silent during most of infancy. This review highlights recent work concerned with the precise mapping (localization) of brain activation in human infants, providing evidence that prefrontal cortex exhibits functional activation much…

  16. Is age-dependent, ketamine-induced apoptosis in the rat somatosensory cortex influenced by temperature?

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, S; Carnes, A; Finucane, B; Musci, G; Oelsner, W; Hicks, L; Russell, G B; Liu, C; Turner, C P

    2010-06-16

    General anesthetics have long been thought to be relatively safe but recent clinical studies have revealed that exposure of very young children (4 years or less) to agents that act by blocking the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) can lead to cognitive deficits as they mature. In rodent and non-human primate studies, blockade of this receptor during the perinatal period leads to a number of molecular, cellular and behavioral pathologies. Despite the overwhelming evidence from such studies, doubt remains as to their clinical relevance. A key issue is whether the primary injury (apoptotic cell death) is specific to receptor blockade or due to non-specific, patho-physiological changes. Principal to this argument is that loss of core body temperature following NMDAR blockade could explain why injury is observed hours later. We therefore examined the neurotoxicity of the general anesthetic ketamine in P7, P14 and P21 rats while monitoring core body temperature. We found that, at P7, ketamine induced the pro-apoptotic enzyme activated caspase-3 in a dose-dependent manner. As expected, injury was greatly diminished by P14 and absent by P21. However, contrary to expectations, we found that core body temperature was not a factor in determining injury. Our data imply that injury is directly related to receptor blockade and is unlikely to be overcome by artificially changing core body temperature.

  17. Is age-dependent, ketamine-induced apoptosis in the rat somatosensory cortex influenced by temperature?

    PubMed Central

    Gutierrez, Silvia; Carnes, Ansley; Finucane, Beth; Oelsner, Gabrielle Musci William; Hicks, Lucretia; Russell, Gregory B.; Liu, Chun; Turner, Christopher P.

    2010-01-01

    General anesthetics have long been thought to be relatively safe but recent clinical studies have revealed that exposure of very young children (4 years or less) to agents that act by blocking the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) can lead to cognitive deficits as they mature. In rodent and non-human primate studies, blockade of this receptor during the perinatal period leads to a number of molecular, cellular and behavioral pathologies. Despite the overwhelming evidence from such studies, doubt remains as to their clinical relevance. A key issue is whether the primary injury (apoptotic cell death) is specific to receptor blockade or due to non-specific, patho-physiological changes. Principal to this argument is that loss of core body temperature following NMDAR blockade could explain why injury is observed hours later. We therefore examined the neurotoxicity of the general anesthetic ketamine in P7, P14 and P21 rats while monitoring core body temperature. We found that, at P7, ketamine induced the pro-apoptotic enzyme activated caspase-3 in a dose-dependent manner. As expected, injury was greatly diminished by P14 and absent by P21. However, contrary to expectations, we found that core body temperature was not a factor in determining injury. Our data imply that injury is directly related to receptor blockade and is unlikely to be overcome by artificially changing core body temperature. PMID:20298758

  18. Receptive field scatter, topography and map variability in different layers of the hindpaw representation of rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Haupt, S Shuichi; Spengler, Friederike; Husemann, Robert; Dinse, Hubert R

    2004-04-01

    We recorded neurons extracellularly in layers II/III, IV, and V of the hindpaw representation of primary somatosensory cortex in anesthetized rats and studied laminar features of receptive fields (RFs) and representational maps. On average, RFs were smallest in layer IV and largest in layer V; however, for individual penetrations we found substantial deviations from this rule. Within the hindpaw representation, a distinct rostrocaudal gradient of RF size was present in all layers. While layer V RFs were generally largest independent of this gradient, layer IV RFs recorded caudally representing the proximal portions of the paw were larger than layer II/III RFs recorded rostrally representing the digits. The individual scatter of the locations of RFs across laminar groups was in the range of several millimeters, corresponding to about 25% of the average RF diameter. The cutaneous representations of the hindpaw in extragranular layers were confined to the areal extent defined by responsive sites in layer IV. Comparison between RFs determined quantitatively and by handplotting showed a reliable correspondence. Repeated measurements of RFs revealed spontaneous fluctuations of RF size of no more than 5% of the initial condition over an observation period of several hours. The topography and variability of cortical maps of the hindpaw representation were studied with a quantitative interpolation method taking into account the geometric centers of RFs and the corresponding cortical recording sites. On average, the overall topography in terms of preservation of neighborhood relations was present in all layers, although some individual maps showed severe distortions of topography. Factors contributing to map variability were overall position of the representation on the cortical surface, internal topography and spatial extent. Interindividual variability of map layout was always highest in the digit representations. Local topographic orderliness was lowest in layer V, but

  19. Time-dependent changes in the functional organization of somatosensory cerebral cortex following digit amputation in adult raccoons.

    PubMed

    Kelahan, A M; Doetsch, G S

    1984-01-01

    Surgical removal of the third forepaw digit in raccoons causes both long-term and short-term changes in functional organization within the digit 3 primary somatosensory (SmI) cortex. Previous studies have shown that 36-52 weeks following amputation in infant raccoons, neurons within the digit 3 cortical territory had become responsive to cutaneous stimulation of "new" forepaw regions adjoining the digit stump (Carson et al., 1981; Kelahan et al., 1980, 1981); the "novel" receptive fields (RFs) were often larger than normal and revealed no orderly somatotopic organization. In the present study, the cortical effects of digit 3 removal were examined in adult raccoons. Within 36 weeks after amputation, the digit 3 zone was also found to be reactivated by "novel" inputs from the forepaw, with no strictly topographic representation of the "new" skin fields. The basic features of cortical reactivation were very similar in animals amputated as adults and as infants, except that the former typically had larger neuronal RFs than the latter. Short-term cortical changes were studied in adult raccoons within 1 day and between 1 and 4 weeks after amputation: Significant time-dependent differences were found in the reactivated digit 3 territory. Within 1 hr following amputation, some cells in the digit 3 zone began to respond to low-intensity cutaneous stimulation of "new" forepaw regions, limited almost exclusively to digits 2 and 4. Neuronal RFs tended to be larger than normal and showed no strictly topographic organization. One to 4 weeks following amputation, the condition of the digit 3 zone differed dramatically from that found immediately and long after amputation--the majority of responsive neurons could be excited only by high-intensity stimulation of small RFs on the digit 3 stump; relatively few cells were sensitive to low-intensity stimulation of adjacent, intact skin regions. Again, no true somatotopic organization was evident. The combined results of these

  20. Associative plasticity in intracortical inhibitory circuits in human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Russmann, Heike; Lamy, Jean-Charles; Shamim, Ejaz A; Meunier, Sabine; Hallett, Mark

    2009-06-01

    Paired associative stimulation (PAS) is a transcranial magnetic stimulation technique inducing Hebbian-like synaptic plasticity in the human motor cortex (M1). PAS is produced by repetitive pairing of a peripheral nerve shock and a transcranial magnetic stimulus (TMS). Its effect is assessed by a change in size of a motor evoked response (MEP). MEP size results from excitatory and inhibitory influences exerted on cortical pyramidal cells, but no robust effects on inhibitory networks have been demonstrated so far. In 38 healthy volunteers, we assessed whether a PAS intervention influences three intracortical inhibitory circuits: short (SICI) and long (LICI) intracortical inhibitions reflecting activity of GABA(A) and GABA(B) interneurons, respectively, and long afferent inhibition (LAI) reflecting activity of somatosensory inputs. After PAS, MEP sizes, LICI and LAI levels were significantly changed while changes of SICI were inconsistent. The changes in LICI and LAI lasted 45 min after PAS. Their direction depended on the delay between the arrival time of the afferent volley at the cortex and the TMS-induced cortical activation during the PAS. PAS influences inhibitory circuits in M1. PAS paradigms can demonstrate Hebbian-like plasticity at selected inhibitory networks as well as excitatory networks.

  1. Associative plasticity in intracortical inhibitory circuits in human motor cortex

    PubMed Central

    Russmann, Heike; Lamy, Jean-Charles; Shamim, Ejaz; Meunier, Sabine; Hallett, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Objective Paired-associative stimulation (PAS) is a transcranial magnetic stimulation technique inducing Hebbian-like synaptic plasticity in the human motor cortex (M1). PAS is produced by repetitive pairing of a peripheral nerve shock and a transcranial magnetic stimulus (TMS). Its effect is assessed by a change in size of a motor evoked response (MEP). MEP size results from excitatory and inhibitory influences exerted on cortical pyramidal cells, but no robust effects on inhibitory networks have been demonstrated so far. Method In 38 healthy volunteers, we assessed whether a PAS intervention influences three intracortical inhibitory circuits: short (SICI) and long (LICI) intracortical inhibitions reflecting activity of GABAA and GABAB interneurons respectively, and long afferent inhibition (LAI) reflecting activity of somatosensory inputs. Results After PAS, MEP sizes, LICI and LAI levels were significantly changed while changes of SICI were inconsistent. The changes in LICI and LAI lasted 45 minutes after PAS. Their direction depended on the delay between the arrival time of the afferent volley at the cortex and the TMS-induced cortical activation during the PAS. Conclusions PAS influences inhibitory circuits in M1. Significance PAS paradigms can demonstrate Hebbian-like plasticity at selected inhibitory networks as well as excitatory networks. PMID:19435676

  2. Quantitative sensory testing for assessment of somatosensory function in human oral mucosa: a review.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Pin; Chen, Yaming; Zhang, Jinglu; Wang, Kelun; Svensson, Peter

    2017-09-20

    This narrative review provides an overview of the quantitative sensory testing (QST) to assess somatosensory function in human oral mucosa. A literature search was conducted in the PubMed database to identify studies in vivo on human oral mucosa using QST methods. A list of 149 articles was obtained and screened. A total of 36 relevant articles remained and were read in full text. Manual search of the reference lists identified eight additional relevant studies. A total of 44 articles were included for final assessment. The included studies were divided into six categories according to the study content and objective. In each category, there was a great variety of aims, methods, participants and outcome measures. The application of QST has nevertheless helped to monitor somatosensory function in experimental models of intraoral pain, effects of local anesthesia, after oral and maxillofacial surgery and after prosthodontic and orthodontic treatment. QST has been proved to be sufficiently stable and reliable, and valuable information has been obtained regarding somatosensory function in healthy volunteers, special populations and orofacial pain patients. However, as most of the studies were highly heterogeneous, the results are difficult to compare quantitatively. A standardized intraoral QST protocol is recommended and expected to help advance a mechanism-based assessment of neuropathies and other intraoral pain conditions.

  3. Early somatosensory evoked potentials.

    PubMed

    Sances, A; Larson, S J; Cusick, J F; Myklebust, J; Ewing, C L; Jodat, R; Ackmann, J J; Walsh, P

    1978-10-01

    The early somatosensory evoked potential secondary to median nerve stimulation in the human had an onset latency of 9--12 msec when recorded from scalp electrodes at vertex-to-mastoid, vertex-to-inion or at the base of the skull. Similar latencies were observed from responses recorded over the cervical dorsal columns during neurologic surgery. A latency difference of 1.5 msec was observed between the early response and the responses recorded from the junction of medial lemniscus and nucleus ventralis posterior lateralis of the thalamus during human stereotaxic surgery. Cervical cord transections and transection at the midpontine levels of the monkey showed that the evoked potential was due to generators between these levels. Depth recording of the monkey indicate that the early evoked potential originates in the region of dorsal column nuclei, while the later components are secondary to generators in cerebral cortex.

  4. Somatosensory and visual deprivation each decrease the density of parvalbumin neurons and their synapse terminals in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of mice.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Hiroshi; Shoshi, Chikafumi; Suemitsu, Shunsuke; Usui, Shinichi; Sujiura, Hiroko; Okamoto, Motoi

    2013-01-01

    In the phenomenon known as cross-modal plasticity, the loss of one sensory system is followed by improved functioning of other intact sensory systems. MRI and functional MRI studies suggested a role of the prefrontal cortex and the temporal lobe in cross-modal plasticity. We used a mouse model to examine the effects of sensory deprivation achieved by whisker trimming and visual deprivation achieved by dark rearing in neonatal mice on the appearance of parvalbumin (PV) neurons and the formation of glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67)-positive puncta around pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Whisker trimming, but not dark rearing, decreased the density of PV neurons in the hippocampus at postnatal day 28 (P28). In the prefrontal cortex, whisker trimming and dark rearing decreased the density of PV neurons in layer 5/6 (L5/6) at P28 and in L2/3 at P56, respectively, whereas dark rearing increased the density of PV neurons in L5/6 at P56. Whisker trimming decreased the density of GAD67-positive puncta in CA1 of the hippocampus at both P28 and P56 and in L5/6 of the prefrontal cortex at P28. Dark rearing decreased the density of GAD67-positive puncta in CA1 of the hippocampus and in both L2/3 and L5/6 of the prefrontal cortex at P28, and in L2/3 of the prefrontal cortex at P56. These results demonstrate that somatosensory or visual deprivation causes changes in the PV-interneuronal network in the mouse prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The results also suggest that the alteration of the PV-interneuronal network, especially in the prefrontal cortex, may contribute to cross-modal plasticity.

  5. The time window for generation of dendritic spikes by coincidence of action potentials and EPSPs is layer specific in somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Ledergerber, Debora; Larkum, Matthew Evan

    2012-01-01

    The precise timing of events in the brain has consequences for intracellular processes, synaptic plasticity, integration and network behaviour. Pyramidal neurons, the most widespread excitatory neuron of the neocortex have multiple spike initiation zones, which interact via dendritic and somatic spikes actively propagating in all directions within the dendritic tree. For these neurons, therefore, both the location and timing of synaptic inputs are critical. The time window for which the backpropagating action potential can influence dendritic spike generation has been extensively studied in layer 5 neocortical pyramidal neurons of rat somatosensory cortex. Here, we re-examine this coincidence detection window for pyramidal cell types across the rat somatosensory cortex in layers 2/3, 5 and 6. We find that the time-window for optimal interaction is widest and shifted in layer 5 pyramidal neurons relative to cells in layers 6 and 2/3. Inputs arriving at the same time and locations will therefore differentially affect spike-timing dependent processes in the different classes of pyramidal neurons.

  6. Representational Similarity of Body Parts in Human Occipitotemporal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Bracci, Stefania; Caramazza, Alfonso; Peelen, Marius V

    2015-09-23

    Regions in human lateral and ventral occipitotemporal cortices (OTC) respond selectively to pictures of the human body and its parts. What are the organizational principles underlying body part responses in these regions? Here we used representational similarity analysis (RSA) of fMRI data to test multiple possible organizational principles: shape similarity, physical proximity, cortical homunculus proximity, and semantic similarity. Participants viewed pictures of whole persons, chairs, and eight body parts (hands, arms, legs, feet, chests, waists, upper faces, and lower faces). The similarity of multivoxel activity patterns for all body part pairs was established in whole person-selective OTC regions. The resulting neural similarity matrices were then compared with similarity matrices capturing the hypothesized organizational principles. Results showed that the semantic similarity model best captured the neural similarity of body parts in lateral and ventral OTC, which followed an organization in three clusters: (1) body parts used as action effectors (hands, feet, arms, and legs), (2) noneffector body parts (chests and waists), and (3) face parts (upper and lower faces). Whole-brain RSA revealed, in addition to OTC, regions in parietal and frontal cortex in which neural similarity was related to semantic similarity. In contrast, neural similarity in occipital cortex was best predicted by shape similarity models. We suggest that the semantic organization of body parts in high-level visual cortex relates to the different functions associated with the three body part clusters, reflecting the unique processing and connectivity demands associated with the different types of information (e.g., action, social) different body parts (e.g., limbs, faces) convey. Significance statement: While the organization of body part representations in motor and somatosensory cortices has been well characterized, the principles underlying body part representations in visual cortex

  7. Effects of aerobic exercise under different thermal conditions on human somatosensory processing.

    PubMed

    Nakata, Hiroki; Oshiro, Misaki; Namba, Mari; Shibasaki, Manabu

    2016-10-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effects of aerobic exercise on human somatosensory processing recorded by somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) under temperate [TEMP, 20°C and 40% relative humidity (RH)] and hot (HOT, 35°C and 30% RH) environments. Fifteen healthy subjects performed 4 × 15-min bouts of a moderate cycling exercise [mean power output: 156.5 ± 7.7 (SE) W], with a 10-min rest period and received a posterior tibial nerve stimulation at the left ankle before and after each exercise bout; SEPs were recorded in five sessions; 1st (pre), 2nd (post-1st exercise bout), 3rd (post-2nd exercise bout), 4th (post-3rd exercise bout), and 5th (post-4th exercise bout). The peak latencies and amplitudes of the P37, N50, P60, and N70 components at Cz were evaluated. The latencies of P37, N50, P60, and N70 were significantly shorter with the repetition of aerobic exercise, and these shortened latencies were significantly greater in the HOT condition than in the TEMP condition (P37: 3rd, P < 0.05, and 5th, P < 0.01; P60: 4th, P < 0.05, and 5th, P < 0.01; N70: 4th, P < 0.05, and 5th, P < 0.001). No significant differences were observed in the amplitudes of any SEP component under either thermal condition. These results suggest that the conduction velocity of the ascending somatosensory input was accelerated by increases in body temperature, and aerobic exercise did not alter the strength of neural activity in cortical somatosensory processing.

  8. [Cyclic processes in neuronal populations of the cat somatosensory cortex during extero- and interoceptive activation and in extinction].

    PubMed

    Lavrov, V V

    1991-11-01

    Comparative analysis of the EEG activation responses and multiunit responses in the cortical somatosensory (I) areas revealed a cyclic character of the multiunit discharges in response to light, sound, mechanical and chemical stimuli in alert cats. The fluctuations were reducing to initial values in the course of the stimulation.

  9. Substitution of natural sensory input by artificial neurostimulation of an amputated trigeminal nerve does not prevent the degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic circuits projecting to the somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Herrera-Rincon, Celia; Panetsos, Fivos

    2014-01-01

    Peripheral deafferentation downregulates acetylcholine (ACh) synthesis in sensory cortices. However, the responsible neural circuits and processes are not known. We irreversibly transected the rat infraorbital nerve and implanted neuroprosthetic microdevices for proximal stump stimulation, and assessed cytochrome-oxidase and choline- acetyl-transferase (ChAT) in somatosensory, auditory and visual cortices; estimated the number and density of ACh-neurons in the magnocellular basal nucleus (MBN); and localized down-regulated ACh-neurons in basal forebrain using retrograde labeling from deafferented cortices. Here we show that nerve transection, causes down regulation of MBN cholinergic neurons. Stimulation of the cut nerve reverses the metabolic decline but does not affect the decrease in cholinergic fibers in cortex or cholinergic neurons in basal forebrain. Artifical stimulation of the nerve also has no affect of ACh-innervation of other cortices. Cortical ChAT depletion is due to loss of corticopetal MBN ChAT-expressing neurons. MBN ChAT downregulation is not due to a decrease of afferent activity or to a failure of trophic support. Basalocortical ACh circuits are sensory specific, ACh is provided to each sensory cortex “on demand” by dedicated circuits. Our data support the existence of a modality-specific cortex-MBN-cortex circuit for cognitive information processing. PMID:25452715

  10. Training-induced adaptive plasticity in human somatosensory reflex pathways.

    PubMed

    Zehr, E Paul

    2006-12-01

    This paper reviews evidence supporting adaptive plasticity in muscle and cutaneous afferent reflex pathways induced by training and rehabilitative interventions. The perspective is advanced that the behavioral and functional relevance of any intervention and the reflex pathway under study should be considered when evaluating both adaptation and transfer. A cornerstone of this concept can be found in acute task-dependent reflex modulation. Because the nervous system allows the expression of a given reflex according to the motor task, an attempt to evaluate the training adaptation should also be evoked under the same conditions as training bearing in mind the functional role of the pathway under study. Within this framework, considerable evidence supports extensive adaptive plasticity in human muscle afferent pathways in the form of operant conditioning, strength training, skill training, and locomotor training or retraining. Directly comparable evidence for chronic adaptation in cutaneous reflex pathways is lacking. However, activity-dependent plasticity in cutaneous pathways is documented particularly in approaches to neurological rehabilitation. Overall, the adaptive range for human muscle afferent reflexes appears bidirectional (that is, increased or reduced amplitudes) and on the order of 25-50%. The adaptive range for cutaneous pathways is currently uncertain.

  11. Environmental enrichment alters organizational features of the forepaw representation in the primary somatosensory cortex of adult rats.

    PubMed

    Coq, J O; Xerri, C

    1998-07-01

    The cortical forepaw area of young adult rats was mapped by recording the response properties of small clusters of neurons in layer IV of the primary somatosensory (SI) cortex. First we quantitatively analyzed the somatotopic organizational features of the cortical forepaw representation in terms of areal extent and topography, receptive field (RF) sensory modality, size, and location. We also assessed the influence of environmental enrichment, known to induce structural alterations in cortical connectivity, on the representational characteristics of the forepaw maps. Long-Evans rats were housed in environments (standard, SE; enriched, EE) promoting differential tactile experience for 71-113 days from weaning. Within the SI, we found a single and complete topographic map of the cutaneous surfaces of the forepaw consisting of a rostrolateral-caudomedial sequence of digit and pad representational zones. Small islets of noncutaneous responses (NCR; high-threshold, deep-receptor input) within the boundaries of the cutaneous maps were a conspicuous feature of the forepaw map for SE rats. These islets created discontinuities in the representation of contiguous skin territories. In the SE rats, about 79% of the cortical sites activated by light tactile stimulation had a single cutaneous RF, whereas about 21% exhibited multiple RFs. Most single-digit RFs we delineated in the SE rats extended across two or three phalanges. As a result, the representations of the phalangeal skin surfaces were not segregated but formed an overlapping continuum. Moreover, within these regions, as the electrode was displaced in regular steps across the mediolateral axis, RFs did not shift across the digit skin surface in an orderly manner, suggesting a lack of internal topography in the finger representation zones. Tactile experience promoted by environmental enrichment induced alterations in the representational features of the SI cutaneous map of the forepaw. In EE rats, the areal extent of

  12. Potentiation of convergent synaptic inputs onto pyramidal neurons in somatosensory cortex: dependence on brain wave frequencies and NMDA receptor subunit composition.

    PubMed

    Pilli, J; Kumar, S S

    2014-07-11

    N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) at layer (L)1/primary whisker motor cortex synaptic inputs are distinct from thalamic/striatal (Str) synaptic inputs onto L5 pyramidal neurons in the rat somatosensory cortex. However, the consequences of differential expression of putative GluN3A-containing triheteromeric NMDARs at L1 inputs and GluN2A-containing diheteromeric NMDARs at Str inputs on plasticity of the underlying synapses at the respective inputs remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that L1, but not Str, synapses are potentiated following delta burst stimulation (dBS). This potentiation is blocked by d-serine and/or intracellular 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA) suggesting that it is subunit-specific and dependent on elevations in intracellular Ca(2+). Interestingly, ifenprodil, the GluN2B-preferring antagonist, suppresses baseline L1 responses but does not prevent induction of dBS-evoked potentiation. Unlike L1, Str synapses are maximally potentiated following theta burst stimulation (tBS) and this potentiation is blocked with BAPTA and/or the GluN2A-preferring antagonist NVP-AAM077. We show further that while dBS is both necessary and sufficient to potentiate L1 synapses, tBS is most effective in potentiating Str synapses. Our data suggest distinct potentiating paradigms for the two convergent inputs onto pyramidal neurons in the somatosensory cortex and co-dependence of synaptic potentiation on brain wave-tuned frequencies of burst stimulation and subunit composition of underlying NMDARs. A model for predicting the likelihood of enhancing synaptic efficacy is proposed based on Ca(2+) influx through these receptors and integration of EPSPs at these inputs. Together, these findings raise the possibility of input-specific enhancements of synaptic efficacy in neurons as a function of the animal's behavioral state and/or arousal in vivo.

  13. The Age of Human Cerebral Cortex Neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Bhardwaj, R D; Curtis, M A; Spalding, K L; Buchholz, B A; Fink, D; Bjork-Eriksson, T; Nordborg, C; Gage, F H; Druid, H; Eriksson, P S; Frisen, J

    2006-04-06

    The traditional static view of the adult mammalian brain has been challenged by the realization of continuous generation of neurons from stem cells. Based mainly on studies in experimental animals, adult neurogenesis may contribute to recovery after brain insults and decreased neurogenesis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurological and psychiatric diseases in man. The extent of neurogenesis in the adult human brain has, however, been difficult to establish. We have taken advantage of the integration of {sup 14}C, generated by nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War, in DNA to establish the age of neurons in the major areas of the human cerebral cortex. Together with the analysis of the cortex from patients who received BrdU, which integrates in the DNA of dividing cells, our results demonstrate that whereas non-neuronal cells turn over, neurons in the human cerebral cortex are not generated postnatally at detectable levels, but are as old as the individual.

  14. Spatial updating in human parietal cortex

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merriam, Elisha P.; Genovese, Christopher R.; Colby, Carol L.

    2003-01-01

    Single neurons in monkey parietal cortex update visual information in conjunction with eye movements. This remapping of stimulus representations is thought to contribute to spatial constancy. We hypothesized that a similar process occurs in human parietal cortex and that we could visualize it with functional MRI. We scanned subjects during a task that involved remapping of visual signals across hemifields. We observed an initial response in the hemisphere contralateral to the visual stimulus, followed by a remapped response in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the stimulus. We ruled out the possibility that this remapped response resulted from either eye movements or visual stimuli alone. Our results demonstrate that updating of visual information occurs in human parietal cortex.

  15. Spatial updating in human parietal cortex

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merriam, Elisha P.; Genovese, Christopher R.; Colby, Carol L.

    2003-01-01

    Single neurons in monkey parietal cortex update visual information in conjunction with eye movements. This remapping of stimulus representations is thought to contribute to spatial constancy. We hypothesized that a similar process occurs in human parietal cortex and that we could visualize it with functional MRI. We scanned subjects during a task that involved remapping of visual signals across hemifields. We observed an initial response in the hemisphere contralateral to the visual stimulus, followed by a remapped response in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the stimulus. We ruled out the possibility that this remapped response resulted from either eye movements or visual stimuli alone. Our results demonstrate that updating of visual information occurs in human parietal cortex.

  16. Somatosensory Representations Link the Perception of Emotional Expressions and Sensory Experience.

    PubMed

    Kragel, Philip A; LaBar, Kevin S

    2016-01-01

    Studies of human emotion perception have linked a distributed set of brain regions to the recognition of emotion in facial, vocal, and body expressions. In particular, lesions to somatosensory cortex in the right hemisphere have been shown to impair recognition of facial and vocal expressions of emotion. Although these findings suggest that somatosensory cortex represents body states associated with distinct emotions, such as a furrowed brow or gaping jaw, functional evidence directly linking somatosensory activity and subjective experience during emotion perception is critically lacking. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate decoding techniques, we show that perceiving vocal and facial expressions of emotion yields hemodynamic activity in right somatosensory cortex that discriminates among emotion categories, exhibits somatotopic organization, and tracks self-reported sensory experience. The findings both support embodied accounts of emotion and provide mechanistic insight into how emotional expressions are capable of biasing subjective experience in those who perceive them.

  17. Somatosensory Representations Link the Perception of Emotional Expressions and Sensory Experience123

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Studies of human emotion perception have linked a distributed set of brain regions to the recognition of emotion in facial, vocal, and body expressions. In particular, lesions to somatosensory cortex in the right hemisphere have been shown to impair recognition of facial and vocal expressions of emotion. Although these findings suggest that somatosensory cortex represents body states associated with distinct emotions, such as a furrowed brow or gaping jaw, functional evidence directly linking somatosensory activity and subjective experience during emotion perception is critically lacking. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate decoding techniques, we show that perceiving vocal and facial expressions of emotion yields hemodynamic activity in right somatosensory cortex that discriminates among emotion categories, exhibits somatotopic organization, and tracks self-reported sensory experience. The findings both support embodied accounts of emotion and provide mechanistic insight into how emotional expressions are capable of biasing subjective experience in those who perceive them. PMID:27280154

  18. Judging roughness by sight--a 7-Tesla fMRI study on responsivity of the primary somatosensory cortex during observed touch of self and others.

    PubMed

    Kuehn, Esther; Trampel, Robert; Mueller, Karsten; Turner, Robert; Schütz-Bosbach, Simone

    2013-08-01

    Observing another person being touched activates our own somatosensory system. Whether the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is also activated during the observation of passive touch, and which subregions of S1 are responsible for self- and other-related observed touch is currently unclear. In our study, we first aimed to clarify whether observing passive touch without any action component can robustly increase activity in S1. Secondly, we investigated whether S1 activity only increases when touch of others is observed, or also when touch of one's own body is observed. We were particularly interested in which subregions of S1 are responsible for either process. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging at 7 Tesla to measure S1 activity changes when participants observed videos of their own or another's hand in either egocentric or allocentric perspective being touched by different pieces of sandpaper. Participants were required to judge the roughness of the different sandpaper surfaces. Our results clearly show that S1 activity does increase in response to observing passive touch, and that activity changes are localized in posterior but not in anterior parts of S1. Importantly, activity increases in S1 were particularly related to observing another person being touched. Self-related observed touch, in contrast, caused no significant activity changes within S1. We therefore assume that posterior but not anterior S1 is part of a system for sharing tactile experiences with others.

  19. The Piriform Cortex and Human Focal Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Vaughan, David N.; Jackson, Graeme D.

    2014-01-01

    It is surprising that the piriform cortex, when compared to the hippocampus, has been given relatively little significance in human epilepsy. Like the hippocampus, it has a phylogenetically preserved three-layered cortex that is vulnerable to excitotoxic injury, has broad connections to both limbic and cortical areas, and is highly epileptogenic – being critical to the kindling process. The well-known phenomenon of early olfactory auras in temporal lobe epilepsy highlights its clinical relevance in human beings. Perhaps because it is anatomically indistinct and difficult to approach surgically, as it clasps the middle cerebral artery, it has, until now, been understandably neglected. In this review, we emphasize how its unique anatomical and functional properties, as primary olfactory cortex, predispose it to involvement in focal epilepsy. From recent convergent findings in human neuroimaging, clinical epileptology, and experimental animal models, we make the case that the piriform cortex is likely to play a facilitating and amplifying role in human focal epileptogenesis, and may influence progression to epileptic intractability. PMID:25538678

  20. Cortico-subcortical visual, somatosensory, and motor activations for perceiving dynamic whole-body emotional expressions with and without striate cortex (V1)

    PubMed Central

    Van den Stock, Jan; Tamietto, Marco; Sorger, Bettina; Pichon, Swann; Grézes, Julie; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2011-01-01

    Patients with striate cortex damage and clinical blindness retain the ability to process certain visual properties of stimuli that they are not aware of seeing. Here we investigated the neural correlates of residual visual perception for dynamic whole-body emotional actions. Angry and neutral emotional whole-body actions were presented in the intact and blind visual hemifield of a cortically blind patient with unilateral destruction of striate cortex. Comparisons of angry vs. neutral actions performed separately in the blind and intact visual hemifield showed in both cases increased activation in primary somatosensory, motor, and premotor cortices. Activations selective for intact hemifield presentation of angry compared with neutral actions were located subcortically in the right lateral geniculate nucleus and cortically in the superior temporal sulcus, prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and intraparietal sulcus. Activations specific for blind hemifield presentation of angry compared with neutral actions were found in the bilateral superior colliculus, pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus, amygdala, and right fusiform gyrus. Direct comparison of emotional modulation in the blind vs. intact visual hemifield revealed selective activity in the right superior colliculus and bilateral pulvinar for angry expressions, thereby showing a selective involvement of these subcortical structures in nonconscious visual emotion perception. PMID:21911384

  1. Alpha stimulation of the human parietal cortex attunes tactile perception to external space.

    PubMed

    Ruzzoli, Manuela; Soto-Faraco, Salvador

    2014-02-03

    An intriguing question in neuroscience concerns how somatosensory events on the skin are represented in the human brain. Since Head and Holmes' [1] neuropsychological dissociation between localizing touch on the skin and localizing body parts in external space, touch is considered to operate in a variety of spatial reference frames [2]. At least two representations of space are in competition during orienting to touch: a somatotopic one, reflecting the organization of the somatosensory cortex (S1) [3], and a more abstract, external reference frame that factors postural changes in relation to body parts and/or external space [4, 5]. Previous transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies suggest that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) plays a key role in supporting representations as well as orienting attention in an external reference frame [4, 6]. Here, we capitalized on the TMS entrainment approach [7, 8], targeting the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). We found that frequency-specific (10 Hz) tuning of the PPC induced spatially specific enhancement of tactile detection that was expressed in an external reference frame. This finding establishes a tight causal link between a concrete form of brain activity (10 Hz oscillation) and a specific type of spatial representation, revealing a fundamental property of how the parietal cortex encodes information. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Phonetic invariance in the human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Aulanko, R; Hari, R; Lounasmaa, O V; Näätänen, R; Sams, M

    1993-09-30

    Neuromagnetic signals evoked by synthesized syllables (/bae/ and /gae/) were recorded over the left auditory cortex of healthy humans. The fundamental frequencies of the syllables varied as if the same speaker had pronounced them at 16 different pitches. Specific mismatch responses to infrequent syllables among frequent syllables of the other type indicated that phonetically invariant information had been extracted at the level of the auditory cortex from the extensive irrelevant pitch variation. Such a detection mechanism is necessary for perceiving speech sounds in natural situations with a great deal of acoustic variation present.

  3. Recurrent neural processing and somatosensory awareness.

    PubMed

    Auksztulewicz, Ryszard; Spitzer, Bernhard; Blankenburg, Felix

    2012-01-18

    The neural mechanisms of stimulus detection, despite extensive research, remain elusive. The recurrent processing hypothesis, a prominent theoretical account of perceptual awareness, states that, although stimuli might in principle evoke feedforward activity propagating through the visual cortex, stimuli that become consciously detected are further processed in feedforward-feedback loops established between cortical areas. To test this theory in the tactile modality, we applied dynamic causal modeling to electroencephalography (EEG) data acquired from humans in a somatosensory detection task. In the analysis of stimulation-induced event-related potentials (ERPs), we focused on model-based evidence for feedforward, feedback, and recurrent processing between primary and secondary somatosensory cortices. Bayesian model comparison revealed that, although early EEG components were well explained by both the feedforward and the recurrent models, the recurrent model outperformed the other models when later EEG segments were analyzed. Within the recurrent model, stimulus detection was characterized by a relatively early strength increase of the feedforward connection from primary to secondary somatosensory cortex (>80 ms). At longer latencies (>140 ms), also the feedback connection showed a detection-related strength increase. The modeling results on relative evidence between recurrent and feedforward model comparison support the hypothesis that the ERP responses from sensory areas arising after aware stimulus detection can be explained by increased recurrent processing within the somatosensory network in the later stages of stimulus processing.

  4. mGluR5 Exerts Cell-Autonomous Influences on the Functional and Anatomical Development of Layer IV Cortical Neurons in the Mouse Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ballester-Rosado, Carlos J.; Sun, Hao; Huang, Jui-Yen

    2016-01-01

    Glutamate neurotransmission refines synaptic connections to establish the precise neural circuits underlying sensory processing. Deleting metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) in mice perturbs cortical somatosensory map formation in the primary somatosensory (S1) cortex at both functional and anatomical levels. To examine the cell-autonomous influences of mGluR5 signaling in the morphological and functional development of layer IV spiny stellate glutamatergic neurons receiving sensory input, mGluR5 genetic mosaic mice were generated through in utero electroporation. In the S1 cortex of these mosaic brains, we found that most wild-type neurons were located in barrel rings encircling thalamocortical axon (TCA) clusters while mGluR5 knock-out (KO) neurons were placed in the septal area, the cell-sparse region separating barrels. These KO neurons often displayed a symmetrical dendritic morphology with increased dendritic complexity, in contrast to the polarized pattern of wild-type neurons. The dendritic spine density of mGluR5 KO spiny stellate neurons was significantly higher than in wild-type neurons. Whole-cell electrophysiological recordings detected a significant increase in the frequencies of spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic events in mGluR5 KO neurons compared with neighboring wild-type neurons. Our mosaic analysis provides strong evidence supporting the cell-autonomous influence of mGluR5 signaling on the functional and anatomical development of cortical glutamatergic neurons. Specifically, mGluR5 is required in cortical glutamatergic neurons for the following processes: (1) the placement of cortical glutamatergic neurons close to TCA clusters; (2) the regulation of dendritic complexity and outgrowth toward TCA clusters; (3) spinogenesis; and (4) tuning of excitatory inputs. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Glutamatergic transmission plays a critical role in cortical circuit formation. Its dysfunction has been proposed as a core factor in the

  5. Human prefrontal cortex: evolution, development, and pathology.

    PubMed

    Teffer, Kate; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2012-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is critical to many cognitive abilities that are considered particularly human, and forms a large part of a neural system crucial for normal socio-emotional and executive functioning in humans and other primates. In this chapter, we survey the literature regarding prefrontal development and pathology in humans as well as comparative studies of the region in humans and closely related primate species. The prefrontal cortex matures later in development than more caudal regions, and some of its neuronal subpopulations exhibit more complex dendritic arborizations. Comparative work suggests that the human prefrontal cortex differs from that of closely related primate species less in relative size than it does in organization. Specific reorganizational events in neural circuitry may have taken place either as a consequence of adjusting to increases in size or as adaptive responses to specific selection pressures. Living in complex environments has been recognized as a considerable factor in the evolution of primate cognition. Normal frontal lobe development and function are also compromised in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. A phylogenetically recent reorganization of frontal cortical circuitry may have been critical to the emergence of human-specific executive and social-emotional functions, and developmental pathology in these same systems underlies many psychiatric and neurological disorders, including autism and schizophrenia.

  6. Augmented Pain Processing in Primary and Secondary Somatosensory Cortex in Fibromyalgia: A Magnetoencephalography Study Using Intra-Epidermal Electrical Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Manyoel; Roosink, Meyke; Kim, June Sic; Kim, Hye Won; Lee, Eun Bong; Son, Kyeong Min; Kim, Hyun Ah; Chung, Chun Kee

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate augmented pain processing in the cortical somatosensory system in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). Cortical evoked responses were recorded in FM (n = 19) and healthy subjects (n = 21) using magnetoencephalography after noxious intra-epidermal electrical stimulation (IES) of the hand dorsum (pain rating 6 on a numeric rating scale, perceptually-equivalent). In addition, healthy subjects were stimulated using the amplitude corresponding to the average stimulus intensity rated 6 in patients with FM (intensity-equivalent). Quantitative sensory testing was performed on the hand dorsum or thenar muscle (neutral site) and over the trapezius muscle (tender point), using IES (thresholds, ratings, temporal summation of pain, stimulus-response curve) and mechanical stimuli (threshold, ratings). Increased amplitude of cortical responses was found in patients with FM as compared to healthy subjects. These included the contralateral primary (S1) and bilateral secondary somatosensory cortices (S2) in response to intensity-equivalent stimuli and the contralateral S1 and S2 in response to perceptually-equivalent stimuli. The amplitude of the contralateral S2 response in patients with FM was positively correlated with average pain intensity over the last week. Quantitative sensory testing results showed that patients with FM were more sensitive to painful IES as well as to mechanical stimulation, regardless of whether the stimulation site was the hand or the trapezius muscle. Interestingly, the slope of the stimulus-response relationship as well as temporal summation of pain in response to IES was not different between groups. Together, these results suggest that the observed pain augmentation in response to IES in patients with FM could be due to sensitization or disinhibition of the cortical somatosensory system. Since the S2 has been shown to play a role in higher-order functions, further studies are needed to clarify the role of augmented

  7. THE THIRD STIMULUS TEMPORAL DISCRIMINATION THRESHOLD: FOCUSING ON THE TEMPORAL PROCESSING OF SENSORY INPUT WITHIN PRIMARY SOMATOSENSORY CORTEX.

    PubMed

    Leodori, Giorgio; Formica, Alessandra; Zhu, Xiaoying; Conte, Antonella; Belvisi, Daniele; Cruccu, Giorgio; Hallett, Mark; Berardelli, Alfredo

    2017-07-26

    The somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT) has been used in recent years to investigate time processing of sensory information but little is known about the physiological correlates of somatosensory temporal discrimination. To investigate whether the time interval required to discriminate between two stimuli varies according to the number of stimuli in the task. We used the Third Stimulus Temporal Discrimination Threshold (ThirdDT), defined as the shortest time interval at which an individual distinguishes a third stimulus after a pair of stimuli delivered at the STDT. the STDT and ThirdDT were assessed in 31 healthy subjects. In a subgroup of 10 subjects, we evaluated the effects of the stimuli intensity on the ThirdDT. In a subgroup of 16 subjects, we evaluated the effects of S1-continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) on the STDT and ThirdDT. ThirdDT is shorter than STDT. We found a positive correlation between STDT and ThirdDT values. As long as the stimulus intensity was within the perceivable and painless range, it did not affect ThirdDT values. S1-cTBS significantly affected both STDT and ThirdDT, though the latter was affected to a greater extent and for a longer period of time. The interval needed to discriminate between time-separated tactile stimuli is related to the number of stimuli used in the task. STDT and ThirdDT are encoded in S1 probably by a shared tactile temporal encoding mechanism whose performance rapidly changes during the perception process. ThirdDT is a new method to measure somatosensory temporal discrimination. Copyright © 2016, Journal of Neurophysiology.

  8. Reconstructing Speech from Human Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pasley, Brian N.; David, Stephen V.; Mesgarani, Nima; Flinker, Adeen; Shamma, Shihab A.; Crone, Nathan E.; Knight, Robert T.; Chang, Edward F.

    2012-01-01

    How the human auditory system extracts perceptually relevant acoustic features of speech is unknown. To address this question, we used intracranial recordings from nonprimary auditory cortex in the human superior temporal gyrus to determine what acoustic information in speech sounds can be reconstructed from population neural activity. We found that slow and intermediate temporal fluctuations, such as those corresponding to syllable rate, were accurately reconstructed using a linear model based on the auditory spectrogram. However, reconstruction of fast temporal fluctuations, such as syllable onsets and offsets, required a nonlinear sound representation based on temporal modulation energy. Reconstruction accuracy was highest within the range of spectro-temporal fluctuations that have been found to be critical for speech intelligibility. The decoded speech representations allowed readout and identification of individual words directly from brain activity during single trial sound presentations. These findings reveal neural encoding mechanisms of speech acoustic parameters in higher order human auditory cortex. PMID:22303281

  9. Reconstructing speech from human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Pasley, Brian N; David, Stephen V; Mesgarani, Nima; Flinker, Adeen; Shamma, Shihab A; Crone, Nathan E; Knight, Robert T; Chang, Edward F

    2012-01-01

    How the human auditory system extracts perceptually relevant acoustic features of speech is unknown. To address this question, we used intracranial recordings from nonprimary auditory cortex in the human superior temporal gyrus to determine what acoustic information in speech sounds can be reconstructed from population neural activity. We found that slow and intermediate temporal fluctuations, such as those corresponding to syllable rate, were accurately reconstructed using a linear model based on the auditory spectrogram. However, reconstruction of fast temporal fluctuations, such as syllable onsets and offsets, required a nonlinear sound representation based on temporal modulation energy. Reconstruction accuracy was highest within the range of spectro-temporal fluctuations that have been found to be critical for speech intelligibility. The decoded speech representations allowed readout and identification of individual words directly from brain activity during single trial sound presentations. These findings reveal neural encoding mechanisms of speech acoustic parameters in higher order human auditory cortex.

  10. Influence of stimulation intensity on paired-pulse suppression of human median nerve somatosensory evoked potentials.

    PubMed

    Gatica Tossi, Mario A; Lillemeier, Ann-Sophie; Dinse, Hubert R

    2013-06-19

    Paired-pulse stimulation, the application of two stimuli in close succession, is a useful tool to investigate cortical excitability. Suppression of the second response after short interstimulus intervals characterizes paired-pulse behavior. Although paired-pulse suppression is often studied as a marker of cortical excitability in humans, little is known about the influence of stimulation intensity on paired-pulse suppression. To systematically explore the effect of stimulus intensity on paired-pulse suppression of median nerve somatosensory evoked potentials (MNSEPs), we recorded single-pulse or paired-pulse MNSEPs in healthy volunteers using stimulation intensities ranging from the sensory threshold to 1.2 times the motor threshold using interstimulus intervals of 10, 30, and 100 ms. Of the various somatosensory evoked potential components, only the N20-P25 component showed an effect of intensity, where higher intensities resulted in stronger paired-pulse suppression. However, when only intermediate intensities were considered, paired-pulse suppression was not or only weakly influenced. Our data suggest that stimulation intensity in contrast to single pulse-evoked MNSEPs has only a weak influence on the paired-pulse suppression of early MNSEPs. Paired-pulse suppression is believed to arise from inhibition generated by intracortical networks. The lack of intensity dependence within the range tested can be considered as a step toward creating invariance against fluctuations of stimulus intensity. Thus, intracortical computations as apparent in paired-pulse behavior might be characterized by different properties compared with feed-forward processing.

  11. Direct and crossed effects of somatosensory electrical stimulation on motor learning and neuronal plasticity in humans.

    PubMed

    Veldman, M P; Zijdewind, I; Solnik, S; Maffiuletti, N A; Berghuis, K M M; Javet, M; Négyesi, J; Hortobágyi, T

    2015-12-01

    Sensory input can modify voluntary motor function. We examined whether somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) added to motor practice (MP) could augment motor learning, interlimb transfer, and whether physiological changes in neuronal excitability underlie these changes. Participants (18-30 years, n = 31) received MP, SES, MP + SES, or a control intervention. Visuomotor practice included 300 trials for 25 min with the right-dominant wrist and SES consisted of weak electrical stimulation of the radial and median nerves above the elbow. Single- and double-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) metrics were measured in the intervention and non-intervention extensor carpi radialis. There was 27 % motor learning and 9 % (both p < 0.001) interlimb transfer in all groups but SES added to MP did not augment learning and transfer. Corticospinal excitability increased after MP and SES when measured at rest but it increased after MP and decreased after SES when measured during contraction. No changes occurred in intracortical inhibition and facilitation. MP did not affect the TMS metrics in the transfer hand. In contrast, corticospinal excitability strongly increased after SES with MP + SES showing sharply opposite of these effects. Motor practice and SES each can produce motor learning and interlimb transfer and are likely to be mediated by different mechanisms. The results provide insight into the physiological mechanisms underlying the effects of MP and SES on motor learning and cortical plasticity and show that these mechanisms are likely to be different for the trained and stimulated motor cortex and the non-trained and non-stimulated motor cortex.

  12. Intracortical Microstimulation Maps of Motor, Somatosensory, and Posterior Parietal Cortex in Tree Shrews (Tupaia belangeri) Reveal Complex Movement Representations.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Mary K L; Cooke, Dylan F; Krubitzer, Leah

    2017-02-01

    Long-train intracortical microstimulation (LT-ICMS) is a popular method for studying the organization of motor and posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in mammals. In primates, LT-ICMS evokes both multijoint and multiple-body-part movements in primary motor, premotor, and PPC. In rodents, LT-ICMS evokes complex movements of a single limb in motor cortex. Unfortunately, very little is known about motor/PPC organization in other mammals. Tree shrews are closely related to both primates and rodents and could provide insights into the evolution of complex movement domains in primates. The present study investigated the extent of cortex in which movements could be evoked with ICMS and the characteristics of movements elicited using both short train (ST) and LT-ICMS in tree shrews. We demonstrate that LT-ICMS and ST-ICMS maps are similar, with the movements elicited with ST-ICMS being truncated versions of those elicited with LT-ICMS. In addition, LT-ICMS-evoked complex movements within motor cortex similar to those in rodents. More complex movements involving multiple body parts such as the hand and mouth were also elicited in motor cortex and PPC, as in primates. Our results suggest that complex movement networks present in PPC and motor cortex were present in mammals prior to the emergence of primates.

  13. Intra-areal and corticocortical circuits arising in the dysgranular zone of rat primary somatosensory cortex that processes deep somatic input.

    PubMed

    Kim, Uhnoh; Lee, Taehee

    2013-08-01

    Somesthesis-guided exploration of the external world requires cortical processing of both cutaneous and proprioceptive information and their integration into motor commands to guide further haptic movement. In the past, attention has been given mostly to the cortical circuits processing cutaneous information for somatic motor integration. By comparison, little has been examined about how cortical circuits are organized for higher order proprioceptive processing. Using the rat cortex as a model, we characterized the intrinsic and corticocortical circuits arising in the major proprioceptive region of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) that is conventionally referred to as the dysgranular zone (DSZ). We made small injections of biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) as an anterograde tracer in various parts of the DSZ, revealing three distinct principles of its cortical circuit organization. First, its intrinsic circuits extend mainly along the major axis of DSZ to organize multiple patches of interconnections. Second, the central and peripheral regions of DSZ produce differential patterns of intra-areal and corticocortical circuits. Third, the projection fields of DSZ encompass only selective regions of the second somatic (SII), posterior parietal (PPC), and primary motor (MI) cortices. These projection fields are at least partially separated from those of SI cutaneous areas. We hypothesize, based on these observations, that the cortical circuits of DSZ facilitate a modular integration of proprioceptive information along its major axis and disseminate this information to only selective parts of higher order somatic and MI cortices in parallel with cutaneous information.

  14. Quantitative changes of GABA-immunoreactive cells in the hindlimb representation of the rat somatosensory cortex after 14-day hindlimb unloading by tail suspension

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Amelio, F.; Fox, R. A.; Wu, L. C.; Daunton, N. G.

    1996-01-01

    The present study was aimed at evaluating quantitatively gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunoreactivity in the hindlimb representation of the rat somatosensory cortex after 14 days of hindlimb unloading by tail suspension. A reduction in the number of GABA-immunoreactive cells with respect to the control animals was observed in layer Va and Vb. GABA-containing terminals were also reduced in the same layers, particularly those terminals surrounding the soma and apical dendrites of pyramidal cells in layer Vb. On the basis of previous morphological and behavioral studies of the neuromuscular system of hindlimb-suspended animals, it is suggested that the unloading due to hindlimb suspension alters afferent signaling and feedback information from intramuscular receptors to the cerebral cortex due to modifications in the reflex organization of hindlimb muscle groups. We propose that the reduction in immunoreactivity of local circuit GABAergic neurons and terminals is an expression of changes in their modulatory activity to compensate for the alterations in the afferent information.

  15. Quantitative changes of GABA-immunoreactive cells in the hindlimb representation of the rat somatosensory cortex after 14-day hindlimb unloading by tail suspension

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Amelio, F.; Fox, R. A.; Wu, L. C.; Daunton, N. G.

    1996-01-01

    The present study was aimed at evaluating quantitatively gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunoreactivity in the hindlimb representation of the rat somatosensory cortex after 14 days of hindlimb unloading by tail suspension. A reduction in the number of GABA-immunoreactive cells with respect to the control animals was observed in layer Va and Vb. GABA-containing terminals were also reduced in the same layers, particularly those terminals surrounding the soma and apical dendrites of pyramidal cells in layer Vb. On the basis of previous morphological and behavioral studies of the neuromuscular system of hindlimb-suspended animals, it is suggested that the unloading due to hindlimb suspension alters afferent signaling and feedback information from intramuscular receptors to the cerebral cortex due to modifications in the reflex organization of hindlimb muscle groups. We propose that the reduction in immunoreactivity of local circuit GABAergic neurons and terminals is an expression of changes in their modulatory activity to compensate for the alterations in the afferent information.

  16. Hemispherical map for the human brain cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosun, Duygu; Prince, Jerry L.

    2001-07-01

    Understanding the function of the human brain cortex is a primary goal in human brain mapping. Methods to unfold and flatten the cortical surface for visualization and measurement have been described in previous literature; but comparison across multiple subjects is still difficult because of the lack of a standard mapping technique. We describe a new approach that maps each hemisphere of the cortex to a portion of a sphere in a standard way, making comparison of anatomy and function across different subjects possible. Starting with a three-dimensional magnetic resonance image of the brain, the cortex is segmented and represented as a triangle mesh. Defining a cut around the corpus collosum identifies the left and right hemispheres. Together, the two hemispheres are mapped to the complex plane using a conformal mapping technique. A Mobius transformation, which is conformal, is used to transform the points on the complex plane so that a projective transformation maps each brain hemisphere onto a spherical segment comprising a sphere with a cap removed. We determined the best size of the spherical cap by minimizing the relative area distortion between hemispherical maps and original cortical surfaces. The relative area distortion between the hemispherical maps and the original cortical surfaces for fifteen human brains is analyzed.

  17. Acupuncture-induced changes in functional connectivity of the primary somatosensory cortex varied with pathological stages of Bell's palsy.

    PubMed

    He, Xiaoxuan; Zhu, Yifang; Li, Chuanfu; Park, Kyungmo; Mohamed, Abdalla Z; Wu, Hongli; Xu, Chunsheng; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Linying; Yang, Jun; Qiu, Bensheng

    2014-10-01

    Bell's palsy is the most common cause of acute facial nerve paralysis. In China, Bell's palsy is frequently treated with acupuncture. However, its efficacy and underlying mechanism are still controversial. In this study, we used functional MRI to investigate the effect of acupuncture on the functional connectivity of the brain in Bell's palsy patients and healthy individuals. The patients were further grouped according to disease duration and facial motor performance. The results of resting-state functional MRI connectivity show that acupuncture induces significant connectivity changes in the primary somatosensory region of both early and late recovery groups, but no significant changes in either the healthy control group or the recovered group. In the recovery group, the changes also varied with regions and disease duration. Therefore, we propose that the effect of acupuncture stimulation may depend on the functional connectivity status of patients with Bell's palsy.

  18. Tactile representation in somatosensory thalamus (VPL) and cortex (S1) of awake primate and the plasticity induced by VPL neuroprosthetic stimulation.

    PubMed

    Song, Weiguo; Semework, Mulugeta

    2015-11-02

    To further understand how tactile information is carried in somatosensory cortex (S1) and the thalamus (VPL), and how neuronal plasticity after neuroprosthetic stimulation affects sensory encoding, we chronically implanted microelectrode arrays across hand areas in both S1 and VPL, where neuronal activities were simultaneously recorded during tactile stimulation on the finger pad of awake monkeys. Tactile information encoded in the firing rate of individual units (rate coding) or in the synchrony of unit pairs (synchrony coding) was quantitatively assessed within the information theoretic-framework. We found that tactile information encoded in VPL was higher than that encoded in S1 for both rate coding and synchrony coding; rate coding carried greater information than synchrony coding for the same recording area. With the aim for neuroprosthetic stimulation, plasticity of the circuit was tested after 30 min of VPL electrical stimulation, where stimuli were delivered either randomly or contingent on the spiking of an S1 unit. We showed that neural encoding in VPL was more stable than in S1, which depends not only on the thalamic input but also on recurrent feedback. The percent change of mutual-information after stimulation was increased with closed-loop stimulation, but decreased with random stimulation. The underlying mechanisms during closed-loop stimulation might be spike-timing-dependent plasticity, while frequency-dependent synaptic plasticity might play a role in random stimulation. Our results suggest that VPL could be a promising target region for somatosensory stimulation with closed-loop brain-machine-interface applications.

  19. Corticothalamic and corticotectal somatosensory projections from the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (SIV cortex) in neonatal cats: an anatomical demonstration with HRP and /sup 3/H-leucine

    SciTech Connect

    McHaffie, J.G.; Kruger, L.; Clemo, H.R.; Stein, B.E.

    1988-08-01

    Corticothalamic and corticotectal projections from the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (AES) in neonatal cats were studied with anterograde and retrograde neuroanatomical techniques. When the injection site was relatively restricted to the sulcal walls and fundus of the rostral AES (i.e., the SIV cortex), heavy ipsilateral thalamic label was observed in the medial subdivision of the posterior group, in the suprageniculate nucleus, and in the external medullary lamina. No terminal label was seen in the contralateral thalamus although the contralateral homotopic cortex was heavily labeled. Within the ventrobasal complex (VB), dense axonal label was observed in fascicles that traversed VB, but only light terminal label was observed within VB itself. However, in cases where the tracer spread into adjacent SII, terminal label in VB was pronounced. Similarly, when the injection site extended into auditory cortex, terminal label was observed in the lateral and intermediate subdivisions of the posterior group. Rostral AES injections produced distinct, predominantly ipsilateral, terminal label in the superior colliculus that was distributed in two tiers: a discontinuous band in the stratum griseum intermedium and a more diffuse band in stratum griseum profundum. Caudally, dense terminal label was seen in the intercollicular zone and dorsolateral periaqueductal gray. When the injection site did not include rostral AES, no label was observed in the superior colliculus. Horseradish peroxidase injections into the superior colliculus of neonates produced retrogradely labeled neurons throughout the AES, but none was found on the crown of the gyrus where SII is located. Thus, the neonatal corticotectal somatosensory projection arises exclusively from AES and parallels that found in adults.

  20. The human cerebral cortex flattens during adolescence.

    PubMed

    Alemán-Gómez, Yasser; Janssen, Joost; Schnack, Hugo; Balaban, Evan; Pina-Camacho, Laura; Alfaro-Almagro, Fidel; Castro-Fornieles, Josefina; Otero, Soraya; Baeza, Immaculada; Moreno, Dolores; Bargalló, Nuria; Parellada, Mara; Arango, Celso; Desco, Manuel

    2013-09-18

    The human cerebral cortex appears to shrink during adolescence. To delineate the dynamic morphological changes involved in this process, 52 healthy male and female adolescents (11-17 years old) were neuroimaged twice using magnetic resonance imaging, approximately 2 years apart. Using a novel morphometric analysis procedure combining the FreeSurfer and BrainVisa image software suites, we quantified global and lobar change in cortical thickness, outer surface area, the gyrification index, the average Euclidean distance between opposing sides of the white matter surface (gyral white matter thickness), the convex ("exposed") part of the outer cortical surface (hull surface area), sulcal length, depth, and width. We found that the cortical surface flattens during adolescence. Flattening was strongest in the frontal and occipital cortices, in which significant sulcal widening and decreased sulcal depth co-occurred. Globally, sulcal widening was associated with cortical thinning and, for the frontal cortex, with loss of surface area. For the other cortical lobes, thinning was related to gyral white matter expansion. The overall flattening of the macrostructural three-dimensional architecture of the human cortex during adolescence thus involves changes in gray matter and effects of the maturation of white matter.

  1. Functional subregions of the human entorhinal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Maass, Anne; Berron, David; Libby, Laura A; Ranganath, Charan; Düzel, Emrah

    2015-01-01

    The entorhinal cortex (EC) is the primary site of interactions between the neocortex and hippocampus. Studies in rodents and nonhuman primates suggest that EC can be divided into subregions that connect differentially with perirhinal cortex (PRC) vs parahippocampal cortex (PHC) and with hippocampal subfields along the proximo-distal axis. Here, we used high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging at 7 Tesla to identify functional subdivisions of the human EC. In two independent datasets, PRC showed preferential intrinsic functional connectivity with anterior-lateral EC and PHC with posterior-medial EC. These EC subregions, in turn, exhibited differential connectivity with proximal and distal subiculum. In contrast, connectivity of PRC and PHC with subiculum followed not only a proximal-distal but also an anterior-posterior gradient. Our data provide the first evidence that the human EC can be divided into functional subdivisions whose functional connectivity closely parallels the known anatomical connectivity patterns of the rodent and nonhuman primate EC. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06426.001 PMID:26052749

  2. Connectivity architecture and subdivision of the human inferior parietal cortex revealed by diffusion MRI.

    PubMed

    Ruschel, Michael; Knösche, Thomas R; Friederici, Angela D; Turner, Robert; Geyer, Stefan; Anwander, Alfred

    2014-09-01

    The human inferior parietal cortex convexity (IPCC) is an important association area, which integrates auditory, visual, and somatosensory information. However, the structural organization of the IPCC is a controversial issue. For example, cytoarchitectonic parcellations reported in the literature range from 2 to 7 areas. Moreover, anatomical descriptions of the human IPCC are often based on experiments in the macaque monkey. In this study, we used diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging combined with probabilistic tractography to quantify the connectivity of the human IPCC, and used this information to parcellate this cortex area. This provides a new structural map of the human IPCC, comprising 3 subareas (inferior parietal cortex anterior, IPC middle, and IPC posterior) of comparable size, in a rostro-caudal arrangement in the left and right hemispheres. Each subarea is characterized by a connectivity fingerprint, and the parcellation is similar to the subdivision reported for the macaque IPCC with 3 areas in a rostro-caudal arrangement (PF, PFG, and PG). However, the present study also reliably demonstrates new structural features in the connectivity pattern of the human IPCC, which are not known to exist in the macaque. This study quantifies intersubject variability by providing a population representation of the subarea arrangement and demonstrates the substantial lateralization of the connectivity patterns of the IPCC. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Multisensory parietal cortex contributes to visual enhancement of touch in humans: A single-pulse TMS study.

    PubMed

    Konen, Christina S; Haggard, Patrick

    2014-02-01

    We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate how the visual context provided by viewing one's own body influences somatosensory processing. In the visual enhancement of touch (VET) effect, viewing the body enhances tactile acuity relative to viewing a nonbody object. Single-pulse TMS was delivered over anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIPS), which is crucial for integrating visual and somatosensory information related to the body, during the interval between a brief glimpse of the arm, or an object, and tactile stimulation. TMS to aIPS just after visual stimulation abolished VET, while TMS at the time of touch itself did not. Disrupting nearby areas just anterior or posterior to aIPS left the VET effect intact. Viewing the arm may activate multisensory areas in aIPS, which may then rapidly modulate somatosensory circuits. We suggest that this enhancement of touch by vision involves feedback signals from aIPS to unimodal somatosensory cortex. Our study provides causal evidence of a specific multisensory mechanism that modulates tactile processing in the human brain.

  4. Receptive Field Properties of the Macaque Second Somatosensory Cortex: Nonlinear Mechanisms Underlying the Representation of Orientation Within a Finger Pad

    PubMed Central

    Thakur, Pramodsingh H.; Fitzgerald, Paul J.; Lane, John W.; Hsiao, Steven S.

    2007-01-01

    We investigate the position invariant receptive field properties of neurons in the macaque second somatosensory (SII) cortical region. Previously we reported that many SII region neurons show orientation tuning in the center of multiple finger pads of the hand and further that the tuning is similar on different pads, which can be interpreted as position invariance. Here we study the receptive field properties of a single finger pad for a subset (n = 61) of those 928 neurons, using a motorized oriented bar that we positioned at multiple locations across the pad. We calculate both vector fields and linear receptive fields of the finger pad to characterize the receptive field properties that give rise to the tuning, and we perform an additional regression analysis to quantify linearity, invariance, or both in individual neurons. We show that orientation tuning of SII region neurons is based on a variety of mechanisms. For some neurons, the tuning is explained by simple excitatory regions, simple inhibitory regions, or some combination of these structures. However, a large fraction of the neurons (n = 20 of 61, 33%) show position invariance that is not explained well by their linear receptive fields. Finding invariance within a finger pad, coupled with the previous result of similar tuning on different pads, indicates that some SII region neurons may exhibit similar tuning throughout large regions of the hand. We hypothesize that invariant neurons play an important role in tactile form recognition. PMID:17192440

  5. Salient sounds activate human visual cortex automatically

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, John J.; Störmer, Viola S.; Martinez, Antigona; Feng, Wenfeng; Hillyard, Steven A.

    2013-01-01

    Sudden changes in the acoustic environment enhance perceptual processing of subsequent visual stimuli that appear in close spatial proximity. Little is known, however, about the neural mechanisms by which salient sounds affect visual processing. In particular, it is unclear whether such sounds automatically activate visual cortex. To shed light on this issue, the present study examined event-related brain potentials (ERPs) that were triggered either by peripheral sounds that preceded task-relevant visual targets (Experiment 1) or were presented during purely auditory tasks (Experiments 2, 3, and 4). In all experiments the sounds elicited a contralateral ERP over the occipital scalp that was localized to neural generators in extrastriate visual cortex of the ventral occipital lobe. The amplitude of this cross-modal ERP was predictive of perceptual judgments about the contrast of co-localized visual targets. These findings demonstrate that sudden, intrusive sounds reflexively activate human visual cortex in a spatially specific manner, even during purely auditory tasks when the sounds are not relevant to the ongoing task. PMID:23699530

  6. IL-1β is induced in reactive astrocytes in the somatosensory cortex of rats with genetic absence epilepsy at the onset of spike-and-wave discharges, and contributes to their occurrence.

    PubMed

    Akin, Demet; Ravizza, Teresa; Maroso, Mattia; Carcak, Nihan; Eryigit, Tugba; Vanzulli, Ilaria; Aker, Rezzan Gülhan; Vezzani, Annamaria; Onat, Filiz Yılmaz

    2011-12-01

    Interleukin (IL)-1β plays a crucial role in the mechanisms of limbic seizures in rodent models of temporal lobe epilepsy. We addressed whether activation of the IL-1β signaling occurs in rats with genetic absence epilepsy (GAERS) during the development of spike-and-wave discharges (SWDs). Moreover, we studied whether inhibition of IL-1β biosynthesis in GAERS could affect SWD activity. IL-1β expression and glia activation were studied by immunocytochemistry in the forebrain of GAERS at postnatal days (PN)14, PN20, and PN90 and in age-matched non-epileptic control Wistar rats. In PN14 GAERS, when no SWDs have developed yet, IL-1β immunostaining was undetectable, and astrocytes and microglia showed a resting phenotype similar to control Wistar rats. In 3 out of 9 PN20 GAERS, IL-1β was observed in activated astrocytes of the somatosensory cortex; the cytokine expression was associated with the occurrence of immature-type of SWDs. In all adult PN90 GAERS, when mature SWDs are established, IL-1β was observed in reactive astrocytes of the somatosensory cortex but not in adjacent cortical areas or in extra-cortical regions. An age-dependent c-fos activation was found in the somatosensory cortex of GAERS with maximal levels reached in PN90 rats; c-fos was also induced in some thalamic nuclei in PN20 and PN90 GAERS. Inhibition of IL-1β biosynthesis in PN90 GAERS by 4-day systemic administration of a specific ICE/Caspase-1 blocker, significantly reduced both SWD number and duration. These results show that IL-1β is induced in reactive astrocytes of the somatosensory cortex of GAERS at the onset of SWDs. IL-1β has pro-ictogenic properties in this model, and thus it may play a contributing role in the mechanisms underlying the occurrence of absence seizures. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Integration of H-2Z1, a somatosensory cortex-expressed transgene, interferes with the expression of the Satb1 and Tbc1d5 flanking genes and affects the differentiation of a subset of cortical interneurons.

    PubMed

    Narboux-Nême, Nicolas; Goïame, Rosette; Mattéi, Marie-Geneviève; Cohen-Tannoudji, Michel; Wassef, Marion

    2012-05-23

    H-2Z1 is an enhancer trap transgenic mouse line in which the lacZ reporter delineates the somatosensory area of the cerebral cortex where it is expressed in a subset of layer IV neurons. In the search of somatosensory specific genes or regulatory sequences, we mapped the H-2Z1 transgene insertion site to chromosome 17, 100 and 460 kb away from Tbc1d5 and Satb1 flanking genes. We show here that insertion of the H-2Z1 transgene results in three distinct outcomes. First, a genetic background-sensitive expression of lacZ in several brain and body structures. While four genes in a 1 Mb region around the insertion are expressed in the barrel cortex, H-2Z1 expression resembles more that of its two direct neighbors. Moreover, H-2Z1 closely reports most of the body and brain expression sites of the Satb1 chromatin remodeling gene including tooth buds, thymic epithelium, pontine nuclei, fastigial cerebellar nuclei, and cerebral cortex. Second, the H-2Z1 transgene causes insertional mutagenesis of Tbc1d5 and Satb1, leading to a strong decrease in their expressions. Finally, insertion of H-2Z1 affects the differentiation of a subset of cortical GABAergic interneurons, a possible consequence of downregulation of Satb1 expression. Thus, the H-2Z1 "somatosensory" transgene is inserted in the regulatory landscape of two genes highly expressed in the developing somatosensory cortex and reports for a subdomain of their expression profiles. Together, our data suggest that regulation of H-2Z1 expression results from local and remote genetic interactions.

  8. Spike-timing-dependent potentiation of sensory surround in the somatosensory cortex is facilitated by deprivation-mediated disinhibition.

    PubMed

    Gambino, Frédéric; Holtmaat, Anthony

    2012-08-09

    Functional maps in the cerebral cortex reorganize in response to changes in experience, but the synaptic underpinnings remain uncertain. Here, we demonstrate that layer (L) 2/3 pyramidal cell synapses in mouse barrel cortex can be potentiated upon pairing of whisker-evoked postsynaptic potentials (PSPs) with action potentials (APs). This spike-timing-dependent long-term potentiation (STD-LTP) was only effective for PSPs evoked by deflections of a whisker in the neuron's receptive field center, and not its surround. Trimming of all except two whiskers rapidly opened the possibility to drive STD-LTP by the spared surround whisker. This facilitated STD-LTP was associated with a strong decrease in the surrounding whisker-evoked inhibitory conductance and partially occluded picrotoxin-mediated LTP facilitation. Taken together, our data demonstrate that sensory deprivation-mediated disinhibition facilitates STD-LTP from the sensory surround, which may promote correlation- and experience-dependent expansion of receptive fields.

  9. The Role of Basal Forebrain in Rat Somatosensory Cortex: Impact on Cholinergic Innervation, Sensory Information Processing, and Tactile Discrimination

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-05-28

    noradrenergic neurons, as well as from the cholinergic neurons of the brainstem tegmentum (Jones and Cuello , 1989). This suggests that final control over...Jones, B. E., & Cuello , A. C. (1989). Afferents to the basal forebrain cholinergic cell area from pontomesencephalic- catecholamine, serotonin, and...organization in mouse barrel cortex. Brain Research, 165, 327-332. 160 Sofroniew, M. V., Eckenstein, Fo, Thoenen, Ho, & Cuello , A. C. (1982

  10. Feedforward motor information enhances somatosensory responses and sharpens angular tuning of rat S1 barrel cortex neurons

    PubMed Central

    Khateb, Mohamed; Schiller, Jackie; Schiller, Yitzhak

    2017-01-01

    The primary vibrissae motor cortex (vM1) is responsible for generating whisking movements. In parallel, vM1 also sends information directly to the sensory barrel cortex (vS1). In this study, we investigated the effects of vM1 activation on processing of vibrissae sensory information in vS1 of the rat. To dissociate the vibrissae sensory-motor loop, we optogenetically activated vM1 and independently passively stimulated principal vibrissae. Optogenetic activation of vM1 supra-linearly amplified the response of vS1 neurons to passive vibrissa stimulation in all cortical layers measured. Maximal amplification occurred when onset of vM1 optogenetic activation preceded vibrissa stimulation by 20 ms. In addition to amplification, vM1 activation also sharpened angular tuning of vS1 neurons in all cortical layers measured. Our findings indicated that in addition to output motor signals, vM1 also sends preparatory signals to vS1 that serve to amplify and sharpen the response of neurons in the barrel cortex to incoming sensory input signals. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21843.001 PMID:28059699

  11. Ocular integration in the human visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Horton, Jonathan C

    2006-10-01

    Human striate cortex contains an orderly map of the contralateral visual field, which is distorted to make a disproportionate amount of tissue available for the representation of the macula. Engrafted on the retinotopic map is a system of alternating inputs known as ocular dominance columns. These columns consist of interleaved bands of geniculocortical afferents in layer 4C serving either the right eye or the left eye. They can be revealed in humans with a history of prior visual loss in one eye by processing striate cortex for cytochrome oxidase at autopsy. Because their geniculate input is segregated, cells within ocular dominance columns in layer 4C respond to stimulation of one eye only. These monocular cells converge onto binocular cells in other layers, integrating signals from the two eyes. The columns in humans appear similar to those found in many primate species, including the macaque. In the squirrel monkey, however, the occurrence of ocular dominance columns is highly variable. Some squirrel monkeys lack columns, yet they seem to have no impairment of visual function. In animals with weakly expressed columns, one can detect a cortical pattern of metabolic activity corresponding to retinal blood vessels. It appears because visual deprivation from shadows cast by blood vessels induces remodeling of geniculocortical afferents, in a manner akin to the shrinkage of ocular dominance columns from congenital cataract. Although the function of ocular dominance columns is unknown, their metabolism is altered in strabismus, suggesting a role in visual suppression.

  12. Spatio-temporal characteristics of cerebral blood volume changes in different microvascular compartments evoked by sciatic nerve stimulation in rat somatosensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Pengcheng; Luo, Qingming; Luo, Weihua; Chen, Shangbin; Chen, Haiying; Zeng, Shaoqun

    2003-10-01

    The spatio-temporal characteristics of changes in cerebral blood volume associated with neuronal activity were investigated in the hindlimb somatosensory cortex of α-chloralose/urethan anesthetized rats (n=10) with optical imaging at 570nm through a thinned skull. Activation of cortex was carried out by electrical stimulation of the contralateral sciatic nerve with 5Hz, 0.3V pulses (0.5ms) for duration of 2s. The stimulation evoked a monophasic optical reflectance decrease at cortical parenchyma and arteries sites rapidly after the onset of stimulation, whereas no similar response was observed at vein compartments. The optical signal changes reached 10% of the peak response 0.70+/-0.32s after stimulation onset and no significant time lag in this 10% start latency time was observed between the response at cortical parenchyma and arteries compartments. The evoked optical reflectance decrease reached the peak (0.25%+/-0.047%)2.66+/-0.61s after the stimulus onset at parenchyma site, 0.40+/-0.20s earlier (P<0.05) than that at arteries site (0.50%+/-0.068% 3.06+/-0.70s). Variable location within the cortical parenchyma and arteries compartment themselves didn"t affect the temporal characteristics of the evoked signal significantly. These results suggest that the sciatic nerve stimulation evokes a local blood volume increase at both capillaries (cortical parenchyma) and arterioles rapidly after the stimulus onset but the evoked blood volume increase in capillaries could not be entirely accounted for by the dilation of arterioles.

  13. The effect of task-relevance on primary somatosensory cortex during continuous sensory-guided movement in the presence of bimodal competition.

    PubMed

    Meehan, Sean K; Staines, W Richard

    2007-03-23

    Recent perceptual neuroimaging studies have shown that intermodal selective attention extracts relevant information from one modality at the expense of another at the level of unimodal sensory cortex. The present paper sought 1) to determine the effects of intermodal selective attention on primary somatosensory cortex (S1) during continuous sensorimotor transformations, 2) to investigate the interactions of spatial relationship between the target and distracter modalities on S1 and 3) to identify any potential modulators during continuous sensorimotor transformations. Functional MRI was acquired while participants (n=10) received simultaneous vibrotactile and visuospatial stimulation. In each condition, participants tracked either vibrotactile stimulation (25 Hz), applied to the right index finger with variable intensity, or a visuospatial stimulus, a centrally presented dial where the spatial position of a needle randomly moved, by applying graded force to a force sensing resistor. The distracter modality either originated from a location that was spatially related or distinct to the target that guided movement. Vibrotactile tracking resulted in decreased S1 activation relative to when it was task-irrelevant. Neither S1 activity nor tracking performance was influenced by spatial relationship. In addition the superior parietal lobe/precuneus (BA 7), inferior parietal lobe (BA 40), precentral gyrus (BA 6) and secondary visual areas (BA 18 and 19) may modulate the extraction of task-relevant information while the insula (BA 13) may do so during cases of spatial conflict. We conclude that modulation of S1 is important to the proper execution of sensory-guided movements and that sensorimotor requirements determine the mechanisms of intermodal selective attention.

  14. Time of Day differences in the Number of Cytokine-, Neurotrophin- and NeuN-immunoreactive cells in the Rat Somatosensory or Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hight, Krista; Hallett, Heather; Churchill, Lynn; De, Alok; Boucher, Andrea; Krueger, James M.

    2010-01-01

    Sensory input to different cortical areas differentially varies across the light-dark cycle and likely is responsible, in part, for activity-dependent changes in time-of-day differences in protein expression such as Fos In this study we investigate time-of-day differences between dark (just before light onset) and light (just before dark onset) for the number of immunoreactive (IR) neurons that stained for tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interleukin-1β (IL1β), nerve growth factor (NGF), the neuronal nuclear protein (NeuN) and Fos in the rat somatosensory cortex (Sctx) and visual cortex (Vctx). Additionally, astrocyte IL1β-IR in the Sctx and Vctx was determined. TNFα and IL1β, as well as the immediate early gene protein Fos, were higher at the end of the dark phase (2300 h) compared to values obtained at the end of the light phase (1100 h) in the Sctx and Vctx. IL1β –IR in Sctx and Vctx astrocytes was higher at 2300 h than that observed at 1100 h. . In contrast, the number of NGF-IR neurons was higher in the Vctx than in the Sctx but did not differ in time. However, the density of the NGF-IR neurons in layer V was greater at 2300 h in the Sctx than at 1100 h. NeuN-IR was higher at 2300 h in the Sctx but was lower at this time in the Vctx compared to 1100 h. These data demonstrate that expressions of the molecules examined are dependent on activity, the sleep-wake cycle and brain location. These factors interact to modulate time-of-day expression. Section Title: Regulatory Systems PMID:20398636

  15. Quantifying network properties in multi-electrode recordings: spatiotemporal characterization and inter-trial variation of evoked gamma oscillations in mouse somatosensory cortex in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Carmeli, Cristian; Bonifazi, Paolo; Robinson, Hugh P. C.; Small, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Linking the structural connectivity of brain circuits to their cooperative dynamics and emergent functions is a central aim of neuroscience research. Graph theory has recently been applied to study the structure-function relationship of networks, where dynamical similarity of different nodes has been turned into a “static” functional connection. However, the capability of the brain to adapt, learn and process external stimuli requires a constant dynamical functional rewiring between circuitries and cell assemblies. Hence, we must capture the changes of network functional connectivity over time. Multi-electrode array data present a unique challenge within this framework. We study the dynamics of gamma oscillations in acute slices of the somatosensory cortex from juvenile mice recorded by planar multi-electrode arrays. Bursts of gamma oscillatory activity lasting a few hundred milliseconds could be initiated only by brief trains of electrical stimulations applied at the deepest cortical layers and simultaneously delivered at multiple locations. Local field potentials were used to study the spatio-temporal properties and the instantaneous synchronization profile of the gamma oscillatory activity, combined with current source density (CSD) analysis. Pair-wise differences in the oscillation phase were used to determine the presence of instantaneous synchronization between the different sites of the circuitry during the oscillatory period. Despite variation in the duration of the oscillatory response over successive trials, they showed a constant average power, suggesting that the rate of expenditure of energy during the gamma bursts is consistent across repeated stimulations. Within each gamma burst, the functional connectivity map reflected the columnar organization of the neocortex. Over successive trials, an apparently random rearrangement of the functional connectivity was observed, with a more stable columnar than horizontal organization. This work reveals new

  16. Hypergravity exposure decreases gamma-aminobutyric acid immunoreactivity in axon terminals contacting pyramidal cells in the rat somatosensory cortex: a quantitative immunocytochemical image analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Amelio, F.; Wu, L. C.; Fox, R. A.; Daunton, N. G.; Corcoran, M. L.; Polyakov, I.

    1998-01-01

    Quantitative evaluation of gamma-aminobutyric acid immunoreactivity (GABA-IR) in the hindlimb representation of the rat somatosensory cortex after 14 days of exposure to hypergravity (hyper-G) was conducted by using computer-assisted image processing. The area of GABA-IR axosomatic terminals apposed to pyramidal cells of cortical layer V was reduced in rats exposed to hyper-G compared with control rats, which were exposed either to rotation alone or to vivarium conditions. Based on previous immunocytochemical and behavioral studies, we suggest that this reduction is due to changes in sensory feedback information from muscle receptors. Consequently, priorities for muscle recruitment are altered at the cortical level, and a new pattern of muscle activity is thus generated. It is proposed that the reduction observed in GABA-IR of the terminal area around pyramidal neurons is the immunocytochemical expression of changes in the activity of GABAergic cells that participate in reprogramming motor outputs to achieve effective movement control in response to alterations in the afferent information.

  17. Hypergravity exposure decreases gamma-aminobutyric acid immunoreactivity in axon terminals contacting pyramidal cells in the rat somatosensory cortex: a quantitative immunocytochemical image analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Amelio, F.; Wu, L. C.; Fox, R. A.; Daunton, N. G.; Corcoran, M. L.; Polyakov, I.

    1998-01-01

    Quantitative evaluation of gamma-aminobutyric acid immunoreactivity (GABA-IR) in the hindlimb representation of the rat somatosensory cortex after 14 days of exposure to hypergravity (hyper-G) was conducted by using computer-assisted image processing. The area of GABA-IR axosomatic terminals apposed to pyramidal cells of cortical layer V was reduced in rats exposed to hyper-G compared with control rats, which were exposed either to rotation alone or to vivarium conditions. Based on previous immunocytochemical and behavioral studies, we suggest that this reduction is due to changes in sensory feedback information from muscle receptors. Consequently, priorities for muscle recruitment are altered at the cortical level, and a new pattern of muscle activity is thus generated. It is proposed that the reduction observed in GABA-IR of the terminal area around pyramidal neurons is the immunocytochemical expression of changes in the activity of GABAergic cells that participate in reprogramming motor outputs to achieve effective movement control in response to alterations in the afferent information.

  18. Cyclical processes in neuronal populations of the cat somatosensory cortex during extero- and interoceptive activation and in the course of its extinction.

    PubMed

    Lavrov, V V

    1993-01-01

    The EEG reactions were recorded in chronic experiments in awake cats and the slow periodic changes in the frequency of the multicellular impulse activity were observed at points (standard localization) of the somatosensory (1) zone of the cortex. Results of the analysis of both processes were combined in graphs in a single time scale. The correlation of the expressivity of the activation reaction and degree of modulation of the cyclical fluctuations of the frequency of the impulse activity were followed both during the action of exteroceptive (conditional, light; unconditional, sound) and the interoceptive (mechanical and chemical) stimuli. A particular characteristic of the interoceptive stimulation as compared with the exteroceptive consisted in the inertia of the respondent reaction and the lesser contrast in relation to the background. During the extinction of the responses the decrease in the activation reaction correlated with a decrease in the initial (after the switching on of the stimulus) fluctuation of the frequency of the multicellular impulse activity. The data obtained serves as proof of the unity of the two processes: the regulation of the activation of the brain and the regulation of the periodicity of the neuronal impulse activity.

  19. Time course of postnatal distribution of doublecortin immunoreactive developing/maturing neurons in the somatosensory cortex and hippocampal CA1 region of C57BL/6 mice.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Dae Young; Yoo, Ki-Yeon; Choi, Ji Won; Kim, Woosuk; Lee, Choong Hyun; Choi, Jung Hoon; Park, Jeong Ho; Won, Moo-Ho; Hwang, In Koo

    2011-07-01

    In this study, we observed neuroblast differentiation in the somatosensory cortex (SSC) and hippocampal CA1 region (CA1), which is vulnerable to oxidative stress, of the mouse at various early postnatal days (P) 1, 7, 14, and 21 using doublecortin (DCX, a marker for neuroblasts). Cresyl violet and NeuN (Neuronal Nuclei) staining showed development of layers as well as neurons in the SSC and CA1. At P1, DCX-positive neuroblasts expressed strong DCX immunoreactivity in both the SSC and CA1. Thereafter, DCX immunoreactivity was decreased with time. At P7, many DCX-immunoreactive neuroblasts were well detected in the SSC and CA1. At P14, some DCX-positive neuroblasts were found in the SSC and CA1: The immunoreactivity was weak. At P21, DCX immunoreactivity was hardly found in cells in the SSC and CA1. These results suggest that DCX-positive neuroblasts were significantly decreased in the mouse SSC and CA1 from P14.

  20. Purinergic glio-endothelial coupling during neuronal activity: role of P2Y1 receptors and eNOS in functional hyperemia in the mouse somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Toth, Peter; Tarantini, Stefano; Davila, Antonio; Valcarcel-Ares, M Noa; Tucsek, Zsuzsanna; Varamini, Behzad; Ballabh, Praveen; Sonntag, William E; Baur, Joseph A; Csiszar, Anna; Ungvari, Zoltan

    2015-12-01

    Impairment of moment-to-moment adjustment of cerebral blood flow (CBF) via neurovascular coupling is thought to play a critical role in the genesis of cognitive impairment associated with aging and pathological conditions associated with accelerated cerebromicrovascular aging (e.g., hypertension, obesity). Although previous studies demonstrate that endothelial dysfunction plays a critical role in neurovascular uncoupling in these conditions, the role of endothelial NO mediation in neurovascular coupling responses is not well understood. To establish the link between endothelial function and functional hyperemia, neurovascular coupling responses were studied in mutant mice overexpressing or deficient in endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), and the role of P2Y1 receptors in purinergic glioendothelial coupling was assessed. We found that genetic depletion of eNOS (eNOS(-/-)) and pharmacological inhibition of NO synthesis significantly decreased the CBF responses in the somatosensory cortex evoked by whisker stimulation and by administration of ATP. Overexpression of eNOS enhanced NO mediation of functional hyperemia. In control mice, the selective and potent P2Y1 receptor antagonist MRS2179 attenuated both whisker stimulation-induced and ATP-mediated CBF responses, whereas, in eNOS(-/-) mice, the inhibitory effects of MRS2179 were blunted. Collectively, our findings provide additional evidence for purinergic glio-endothelial coupling during neuronal activity, highlighting the role of ATP-mediated activation of eNOS via P2Y1 receptors in functional hyperemia.

  1. Functional Signature of Recovering Cortex: Dissociation of Local Field Potentials and Spiking Activity in Somatosensory Cortices of Spinal Cord Injured Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zheng; Qi, Hui-Xin; Kaas, Jon H.; Roe, Anna W.; Chen, Li Min

    2013-01-01

    After disruption of dorsal column afferents at high cervical spinal levels in adult monkeys, somatosensory cortical neurons recover responsiveness to tactile stimulation of the hand; this reactivation correlates with a recovery of hand use. However, it is not known if all neuronal response properties recover, and whether different cortical areas recover in a similar manner. To address this, we recorded neuronal activity in cortical area 3b and S2 in adult squirrel monkeys weeks after unilateral lesion of the dorsal columns. We found that in response to vibrotactile stimulation, local field potentials remained robust at all frequency ranges. However, neuronal spiking activity failed to follow at high frequencies (≥15Hz). We suggest that the failure to generate spiking activity at high stimulus frequency reflects a changed balance of inhibition and excitation in both area 3b and S2, and that this mismatch in spiking and local field potential is a signature of an early phase of recovering cortex (< two months). PMID:24017995

  2. Finger somatotopy in human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Beisteiner, R; Windischberger, C; Lanzenberger, R; Edward, V; Cunnington, R; Erdler, M; Gartus, A; Streibl, B; Moser, E; Deecke, L

    2001-06-01

    Although qualitative reports about somatotopic representation of fingers in the human motor cortex exist, up to now no study could provide clear statistical evidence. The goal of the present study was to reinvestigate finger motor somatotopy by means of a thorough investigation of standardized movements of the index and little finger of the right hand. Using high resolution fMRI at 3 Tesla, blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) responses in a group of 26 subjects were repeatedly measured to achieve reliable statistical results. The center of mass of all activated voxels within the primary motor cortex was calculated for each finger and each run. Results of all runs were averaged to yield an individual index and little finger representation for each subject. The mean center of mass localizations for all subjects were then submitted to a paired t test. Results show a highly significant though small scale somatotopy of fingerspecific activation patterns in the order indicated by Penfields motor homunculus. In addition, considerable overlap of finger specific BOLD responses was found. Comparing various methods of analysis, the mean center of mass distance for the two fingers was 2--3 mm with overlapping voxels included and 4--5 mm with overlapping voxels excluded. Our data may be best understood in the context of the work of Schieber (1999) who recently described overlapping somatotopic gradients in lesion studies with humans. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  3. Number processing pathways in human parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Santens, Seppe; Roggeman, Chantal; Fias, Wim; Verguts, Tom

    2010-01-01

    Numerous studies have identified the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) as an area critically involved in numerical processing. IPS neurons in macaques are tuned to a preferred numerosity, hence neurally coding numerosity in a number-selective way. Neuroimaging studies in humans have demonstrated number-selective processing in the anterior parts of the IPS. Nevertheless, the processes that convert visual input into a number-selective neural code remain unknown. Computational studies have suggested that a neural coding stage that is sensitive, but not selective to number, precedes number-selective coding when processing nonsymbolic quantities but not when processing symbolic quantities. In Experiment 1, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to localize number-sensitive areas in the human brain by searching for areas exhibiting increasing activation with increasing number, carefully controlling for nonnumerical parameters. An area in posterior superior parietal cortex was identified as a substrate for the intermediate number-sensitive steps required for processing nonsymbolic quantities. In Experiment 2, the interpretation of Experiment 1 was confirmed with a connectivity analysis showing that a shared number-selective representation in IPS is reached through different pathways for symbolic versus nonsymbolic quantities. The preferred pathway for processing nonsymbolic quantities included the number-sensitive area in superior parietal cortex, whereas the pathway for processing symbolic quantities did not.

  4. Effects of face/head and whole body cooling during passive heat stress on human somatosensory processing.

    PubMed

    Nakata, Hiroki; Namba, Mari; Kakigi, Ryusuke; Shibasaki, Manabu

    2017-06-01

    We herein investigated the effects of face/head and whole body cooling during passive heat stress on human somatosensory processing recorded by somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) at C4' and Fz electrodes. Fourteen healthy subjects received a median nerve stimulation at the left wrist. SEPs were recorded at normothermic baseline (Rest), when esophageal temperature had increased by ~1.2°C (heat stress: HS) during passive heating, face/head cooling during passive heating (face/head cooling: FHC), and after HS (whole body cooling: WBC). The latencies and amplitudes of P14, N20, P25, N35, P45, and N60 at C4' and P14, N18, P22, and N30 at Fz were evaluated. Latency indicated speed of the subcortical and cortical somatosensory processing, while amplitude reflected the strength of neural activity. Blood flow in the internal and common carotid arteries (ICA and CCA, respectively) and psychological comfort were recorded in each session. Increases in esophageal temperature due to HS significantly decreased the amplitude of N60, psychological comfort, and ICA blood flow in the HS session, and also shortened the latencies of SEPs (all, P < 0.05). While esophageal temperature remained elevated, FHC recovered the peak amplitude of N60, psychological comfort, and ICA blood flow toward preheat baseline levels as well as WBC. However, the latencies of SEPs did not recover in the FHC and WBC sessions. These results suggest that impaired neural activity in cortical somatosensory processing during passive HS was recovered by FHC, whereas conduction velocity in the ascending somatosensory input was accelerated by increases in body temperature. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Individual Differences in Anticipatory Somatosensory Cortex Activity for Shock is Positively Related with Trait Anxiety and Multisensory Integration

    PubMed Central

    Greening, Steven G.; Lee, Tae-Ho; Mather, Mara

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety is associated with an exaggerated expectancy of harm, including overestimation of how likely a conditioned stimulus (CS+) predicts a harmful unconditioned stimulus (US). In the current study we tested whether anxiety-associated expectancy of harm increases primary sensory cortex (S1) activity on non-reinforced (i.e., no shock) CS+ trials. Twenty healthy volunteers completed a differential-tone trace conditioning task while undergoing fMRI, with shock delivered to the left hand. We found a positive correlation between trait anxiety and activity in right, but not left, S1 during CS+ versus CS− conditions. Right S1 activity also correlated with individual differences in both primary auditory cortices (A1) and amygdala activity. Lastly, a seed-based functional connectivity analysis demonstrated that trial-wise S1 activity was positively correlated with regions of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), suggesting that higher-order cognitive processes contribute to the anticipatory sensory reactivity. Our findings indicate that individual differences in trait anxiety relate to anticipatory reactivity for the US during associative learning. This anticipatory reactivity is also integrated along with emotion-related sensory signals into a brain network implicated in fear-conditioned responding. PMID:26751483

  6. [Influence of GABA(C)-Receptor Antagonist on Formation of Evoked Potentials in Columns of the Rat Somatosensory Cortex].

    PubMed

    Matukhno, A E; Lysenko, L V; Andreeva, Y V; Sukhov, A G

    2015-01-01

    Microelectrode studies of evoked potentials (EP) in neuronal column of rats barrel cortex show activating action of selective GABA(C)-receptor antagonist 1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl-methylphosphinic acid (TPMPA) mainly on secondary components of EP of supragranular afferent layers of column compared to the efferent infragranular layers. These data suggest localization of GABA(C)-receptors on pre- synaptic terminals of thalamo-cortical glutamatergic afferents and ascending apical dendrites of pyramidal cells. A blockade of GABA(C)-receptors with the selective antagonist TPM PA leads to dose-dependent afferent depolarization with development of presynaptic inhibition and suppression of primary components of EP GABA(C)-receptors blocker produces different effects on secondary components of EP in supragranular layers of the cortex caused by the development of neuronal after hyperpolarization followed by high-amplitude primary response and afterdepolarization followed by low-amplitude primary responses with subsequent activation of different voltage-gated channels and formation of different level of cortical direct current potential gradients.

  7. A barrel-related interneuron in layer 4 of rat somatosensory cortex with a high intrabarrel connectivity.

    PubMed

    Koelbl, Christian; Helmstaedter, Moritz; Lübke, Joachim; Feldmeyer, Dirk

    2015-03-01

    Synaptic connections between identified fast-spiking (FS), parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons, and excitatory spiny neurons in layer 4 (L4) of the barrel cortex were investigated using patch-clamp recordings and simultaneous biocytin fillings. Three distinct clusters of FS L4 interneurons were identified based on their axonal morphology relative to the barrel column suggesting that these neurons do not constitute a homogeneous interneuron population. One L4 FS interneuron type had an axonal domain strictly confined to a L4 barrel and was therefore named "barrel-confined inhibitory interneuron" (BIn). BIns established reliable inhibitory synaptic connections with L4 spiny neurons at a high connectivity rate of 67%, of which 69% were reciprocal. Unitary IPSPs at these connections had a mean amplitude of 0.9 ± 0.8 mV with little amplitude variation and weak short-term synaptic depression. We found on average 3.7 ± 1.3 putative inhibitory synaptic contacts that were not restricted to perisomatic areas. In conclusion, we characterized a novel type of barrel cortex interneuron in the major thalamo-recipient layer 4 forming dense synaptic networks with L4 spiny neurons. These networks constitute an efficient and powerful inhibitory feedback system, which may serve to rapidly reset the barrel microcircuitry following sensory activation.

  8. A Barrel-Related Interneuron in Layer 4 of Rat Somatosensory Cortex with a High Intrabarrel Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Koelbl, Christian; Helmstaedter, Moritz; Lübke, Joachim; Feldmeyer, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic connections between identified fast-spiking (FS), parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons, and excitatory spiny neurons in layer 4 (L4) of the barrel cortex were investigated using patch-clamp recordings and simultaneous biocytin fillings. Three distinct clusters of FS L4 interneurons were identified based on their axonal morphology relative to the barrel column suggesting that these neurons do not constitute a homogeneous interneuron population. One L4 FS interneuron type had an axonal domain strictly confined to a L4 barrel and was therefore named “barrel-confined inhibitory interneuron” (BIn). BIns established reliable inhibitory synaptic connections with L4 spiny neurons at a high connectivity rate of 67%, of which 69% were reciprocal. Unitary IPSPs at these connections had a mean amplitude of 0.9 ± 0.8 mV with little amplitude variation and weak short-term synaptic depression. We found on average 3.7 ± 1.3 putative inhibitory synaptic contacts that were not restricted to perisomatic areas. In conclusion, we characterized a novel type of barrel cortex interneuron in the major thalamo-recipient layer 4 forming dense synaptic networks with L4 spiny neurons. These networks constitute an efficient and powerful inhibitory feedback system, which may serve to rapidly reset the barrel microcircuitry following sensory activation. PMID:24076498

  9. Amodal Processing in Human Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Dux, Paul E.; Tombu, Michael N.; Asplund, Christopher L.; Marois, René

    2013-01-01

    Information enters the cortex via modality-specific sensory regions, whereas actions are produced by modality-specific motor regions. Intervening central stages of information processing map sensation to behavior. Humans perform this central processing in a flexible, abstract manner such that sensory information in any modality can lead to response via any motor system. Cognitive theories account for such flexible behavior by positing amodal central information processing (e.g., “central executive,” Baddeley and Hitch, 1974; “supervisory attentional system,” Norman and Shallice, 1986; “response selection bottleneck,” Pashler, 1994). However, the extent to which brain regions embodying central mechanisms of information processing are amodal remains unclear. Here we apply multivariate pattern analysis to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to compare response selection, a cognitive process widely believed to recruit an amodal central resource across sensory and motor modalities. We show that most frontal and parietal cortical areas known to activate across a wide variety of tasks code modality, casting doubt on the notion that these regions embody a central processor devoid of modality representation. Importantly, regions of anterior insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex consistently failed to code modality across four experiments. However, these areas code at least one other task dimension, process (instantiated as response selection vs response execution), ensuring that failure to find coding of modality is not driven by insensitivity of multivariate pattern analysis in these regions. We conclude that abstract encoding of information modality is primarily a property of subregions of the prefrontal cortex. PMID:23843526

  10. Visual Working Memory in Human Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Barton, Brian; Brewer, Alyssa A.

    2016-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is the ability to maintain visual information in a readily available and easily updated state. Converging evidence has revealed that VWM capacity is limited by the number of maintained objects, which is about 3 - 4 for the average human. Recent work suggests that VWM capacity is also limited by the resolution required to maintain objects, which is tied to the objects' inherent complexity. Electroencephalogram (EEG) studies using the Contralateral Delay Activity (CDA) paradigm have revealed that cortical representations of VWM are at a minimum loosely organized like the primary visual system, such that the left side of space is represented in the right hemisphere, and vice versa. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) work shows that the number of objects is maintained by representations in the inferior intraparietal sulcus (IPS) along dorsal parietal cortex, whereas the resolution of these maintained objects is subserved by the superior IPS and the lateral occipital complex (LOC). These areas overlap with recently-discovered, retinotopically-organized visual field maps (VFMs) spanning the IPS (IPS-0/1/2/3/4/5), and potentially maps in lateral occipital cortex, such as LO-1/2, and/or TO-1/2 (hMT+). Other fMRI studies have implicated early VFMs in posterior occipital cortex, suggesting that visual areas V1-hV4 are recruited to represent information in VWM. Insight into whether and how these VFMs subserve VWM may illuminate the nature of VWM. In addition, understanding the nature of these maps may allow a greater investigation into individual differences among subjects and even between hemispheres within subjects. PMID:26881188

  11. Retinotopic Organization of Human Ventral Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Arcaro, Michael J.; McMains, Stephanie A.; Singer, Benjamin D.; Kastner, Sabine

    2009-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have shown that human ventral visual cortex anterior to area hV4 contains two visual field maps, VO-1 and VO-2, that together form the VO-cluster (Brewer et al., 2005). This cluster is characterized by common functional response properties and responds preferentially to color and object stimuli. Here, we confirm the topographic and functional characteristics of the VO-cluster and describe two new visual field maps that are located anterior to VO-2 extending across the collateral sulcus into the posterior parahippocampal cortex (PHC). We refer to these visual field maps as parahippocampal areas PHC-1 and PHC-2. Each PHC map contains a topographic representation of contralateral visual space. The polar angle representation in PHC-1 extends from regions near the lower vertical meridian (that is the shared border with VO-2) to those close to the upper vertical meridian (that is the shared border with PHC-2). The polar angle representation in PHC-2 is a mirror-reversal of the PHC-1 representation. PHC-1 and PHC-2 share a foveal representation and show a strong bias towards representations of peripheral eccentricities. Both the foveal and peripheral representations of PHC-1 and PHC-2 respond more strongly to scenes than to objects or faces, with greater scene preference in PHC-2 than PHC-1. Importantly, both areas heavily overlap with the functionally defined parahippocampal place area (PPA). Our results suggest that ventral visual cortex can be subdivided on the basis of topographic criteria into a greater number of discrete maps than previously thought. PMID:19710316

  12. Evaluation of somatosensory cortical differences between flutter and vibration tactile stimuli.

    PubMed

    Han, Sang Woo; Chung, Yoon Gi; Kim, Hyung-Sik; Chung, Soon-Cheol; Park, Jang-Yeon; Kim, Sung-Phil

    2013-01-01

    In parallel with advances in haptic-based mobile computing systems, understanding of the neural processing of vibrotactile information becomes of great importance. In the human nervous system, two types of vibrotactile information, flutter and vibration, are delivered from mechanoreceptors to the somatosensory cortex through segregated neural afferents. To investigate how the somatosensory cortex differentiates flutter and vibration, we analyzed the cortical responses to vibrotactile stimuli with a wide range of frequencies. Specifically, we examined whether cortical activity changed most around 50 Hz, which is known as a boundary between flutter and vibration. We explored various measures to evaluate separability of cortical activity across frequency and found that the hypothesis margin method resulted in the greatest separability between flutter and vibration. This result suggests that flutter and vibration information may be processed by different neural processes in the somatosensory cortex.

  13. Response characteristics of the cat somatosensory cortex following the mechanical stimulation to non-vital and vital canine.

    PubMed

    Tao, Jianxiang; Wang, Duo; Ran, Jie; Jin, Anqi; Yu, Hongbo

    2017-07-28

    Patients sometimes complain that non-vital teeth after root canal treatment (RCT) are paresthesia compared with vital teeth, and previous psychological studies on the tactile sensibility of non-vital teeth remained controversial. In the present study, intrinsic signal optical imaging, which served as an objective tool, was employed to compare the cortex response characteristics following forces applied to the cat non-vital and vital canines. Based on the evoked cortical responses, the response threshold, signal strength, spatial pattern, temporal dynamics and the preference of force direction, they were not significantly different between vital and non-vital canines. It seemed that the tactile sensibility of vital and non-vital teeth was comparable at the cortical response level, and pulpal receptors were not concerned in tactile function. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Cytoarchitecture of the human cerebral cortex: MR microscopy of excised specimens at 9.4 Tesla.

    PubMed

    Fatterpekar, Girish M; Naidich, Thomas P; Delman, Bradley N; Aguinaldo, Juan G; Gultekin, S Humayun; Sherwood, Chet C; Hof, Patrick R; Drayer, Burton P; Fayad, Zahi A

    2002-09-01

    The laminar patterns displayed by MR microscopy (MRM) form one basis for the classification of the cytoarchitectonic areas (Brodmann areas). It is plausible that in the future MRM may depict Brodmann areas directly, and not only by inference from gross anatomic location. Our purpose was to depict the laminar cytoarchitecture of excised, formalin-fixed specimens of human cerebral cortex by use of 9.4-T MR and to correlate MR images with histologic stains of the same sections. Formalin-fixed samples of human sensory isocortex (calcarine, Heschl's, and somatosensory cortices), motor isocortex (hand motor area of M1), polar isocortex (frontal pole), allocortex (hippocampal formation), and transitional periallocortex (retrosplenial cortex) were studied by MRM at 9.4 T with intermediate-weighted pulse sequences for a total overnight acquisition time of 14 hours 17 minutes for each specimen. The same samples were then histologically analyzed to confirm the MR identification of the cortical layers. Curves representing the change in MR signal intensity across the cortex were generated to display the signal intensity profiles for each type of cortex. High-field-strength MR imaging at a spatial resolution of 78 x 78 x 500 micro m resolves the horizontal lamination of isocortex, allocortex, and periallocortex and displays specific intracortical structures such as the external band of Baillarger. The signal intensity profiles demonstrate the greatest hypointensity at the sites of maximum myelin concentration and maximum cell density and show gradations of signal intensity inversely proportional to varying cell density. MRM at 9.4 T depicts important aspects of the cytoarchitecture of normal formalin-fixed human cortex.

  15. The auditory representation of speech sounds in human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Connie; Hamiton, Liberty S; Johnson, Keith; Chang, Edward F

    2016-03-04

    In humans, listening to speech evokes neural responses in the motor cortex. This has been controversially interpreted as evidence that speech sounds are processed as articulatory gestures. However, it is unclear what information is actually encoded by such neural activity. We used high-density direct human cortical recordings while participants spoke and listened to speech sounds. Motor cortex neural patterns during listening were substantially different than during articulation of the same sounds. During listening, we observed neural activity in the superior and inferior regions of ventral motor cortex. During speaking, responses were distributed throughout somatotopic representations of speech articulators in motor cortex. The structure of responses in motor cortex during listening was organized along acoustic features similar to auditory cortex, rather than along articulatory features as during speaking. Motor cortex does not contain articulatory representations of perceived actions in speech, but rather, represents auditory vocal information.

  16. Oral somatosensory awareness.

    PubMed

    Haggard, Patrick; de Boer, Lieke

    2014-11-01

    Oral somatosensory awareness refers to the somatic sensations arising within the mouth, and to the information these sensations provide about the state and structure of the mouth itself, and objects in the mouth. Because the oral tissues have a strong somatosensory innervation, they are the locus of some of our most intense and vivid bodily experiences. The salient pain of toothache, or the habit of running one's tongue over one's teeth when someone mentions "dentist", provide two very different indications of the power of oral somatosensory awareness in human experience and behaviour. This paper aims to review the origins and structure of oral somatosensory awareness, focussing on quantitative, mechanistic studies in humans. We first extend a model of levels of bodily awareness to the specific case of the mouth. We then briefly summarise the sensory innervation of oral tissues, and their projections in the brain. We next describe how these peripheral inputs give rise to perceptions of objects in the mouth, such as foods, liquids and oral devices, and also of the mouth tissues themselves. Finally, we consider the concept of a conscious mouth image, and the somatosensory basis of "mouth feel". The theoretical framework outlined in this paper is intended to facilitate scientific studies of this important site of human experience. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Cellular and Circuit Mechanisms Maintain Low Spike Co-Variability and Enhance Population Coding in Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ly, Cheng; Middleton, Jason W.; Doiron, Brent

    2012-01-01

    The responses of cortical neurons are highly variable across repeated presentations of a stimulus. Understanding this variability is critical for theories of both sensory and motor processing, since response variance affects the accuracy of neural codes. Despite this influence, the cellular and circuit mechanisms that shape the trial-to-trial variability of population responses remain poorly understood. We used a combination of experimental and computational techniques to uncover the mechanisms underlying response variability of populations of pyramidal (E) cells in layer 2/3 of rat whisker barrel cortex. Spike trains recorded from pairs of E-cells during either spontaneous activity or whisker deflected responses show similarly low levels of spiking co-variability, despite large differences in network activation between the two states. We developed network models that show how spike threshold non-linearities dilute E-cell spiking co-variability during spontaneous activity and low velocity whisker deflections. In contrast, during high velocity whisker deflections, cancelation mechanisms mediated by feedforward inhibition maintain low E-cell pairwise co-variability. Thus, the combination of these two mechanisms ensure low E-cell population variability over a wide range of whisker deflection velocities. Finally, we show how this active decorrelation of population variability leads to a drastic increase in the population information about whisker velocity. The prevalence of spiking non-linearities and feedforward inhibition in the nervous system suggests that the mechanisms for low network variability presented in our study may generalize throughout the brain. PMID:22408615

  18. Cellular and circuit mechanisms maintain low spike co-variability and enhance population coding in somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Ly, Cheng; Middleton, Jason W; Doiron, Brent

    2012-01-01

    The responses of cortical neurons are highly variable across repeated presentations of a stimulus. Understanding this variability is critical for theories of both sensory and motor processing, since response variance affects the accuracy of neural codes. Despite this influence, the cellular and circuit mechanisms that shape the trial-to-trial variability of population responses remain poorly understood. We used a combination of experimental and computational techniques to uncover the mechanisms underlying response variability of populations of pyramidal (E) cells in layer 2/3 of rat whisker barrel cortex. Spike trains recorded from pairs of E-cells during either spontaneous activity or whisker deflected responses show similarly low levels of spiking co-variability, despite large differences in network activation between the two states. We developed network models that show how spike threshold non-linearities dilute E-cell spiking co-variability during spontaneous activity and low velocity whisker deflections. In contrast, during high velocity whisker deflections, cancelation mechanisms mediated by feedforward inhibition maintain low E-cell pairwise co-variability. Thus, the combination of these two mechanisms ensure low E-cell population variability over a wide range of whisker deflection velocities. Finally, we show how this active decorrelation of population variability leads to a drastic increase in the population information about whisker velocity. The prevalence of spiking non-linearities and feedforward inhibition in the nervous system suggests that the mechanisms for low network variability presented in our study may generalize throughout the brain.

  19. Time-sensitive reorganization of the somatosensory cortex poststroke depends on interaction between Hebbian and homeoplasticity: a simulation study

    PubMed Central

    Schweighofer, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Together with Hebbian plasticity, homeoplasticity presumably plays a significant, yet unclear, role in recovery postlesion. Here, we undertake a simulation study addressing the role of homeoplasticity and rehabilitation timing poststroke. We first hypothesize that homeoplasticity is essential for recovery and second that rehabilitation training delivered too early, before homeoplasticity has compensated for activity disturbances postlesion, is less effective for recovery than training delivered after a delay. We developed a neural network model of the sensory cortex driven by muscle spindle inputs arising from a six-muscle arm. All synapses underwent Hebbian plasticity, while homeoplasticity adjusted cell excitability to maintain a desired firing distribution. After initial training, the network was lesioned, leading to areas of hyper- and hypoactivity due to the loss of lateral synaptic connections. The network was then retrained through rehabilitative arm movements. We found that network recovery was unsuccessful in the absence of homeoplasticity, as measured by reestablishment of lesion-affected inputs. We also found that a delay preceding rehabilitation led to faster network recovery during the rehabilitation training than no delay. Our simulation results thus suggest that homeoplastic restoration of prelesion activity patterns is essential to functional network recovery via Hebbian plasticity. PMID:25274347

  20. Dirty deeds and dirty bodies: Embodiment of the Macbeth effect is mapped topographically onto the somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Michael; Rotte, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Denke, Claudia

    2015-12-21

    The theory of embodied cognition claims that knowledge is represented in modal systems derived from perception. Recent behavioral studies found evidence for this hypothesis, for example, by linking moral purity with physical cleansing (the Macbeth effect). Neurophysiological approaches provided further support by showing an involvement of sensorimotor cortices for embodied metaphors. However, the exact role of this brain region for embodied cognitions remains to be cleared. Here we demonstrate that the involvement of the sensorimotor cortex for the embodied metaphor of moral-purity is somatotopically organized. Participants enacted in scenarios where they had to perform immoral or moral acts either with their mouths or their hands. Results showed that mouthwash products were particularly desirable after lying in a voice mail and hand wash products were particularly desirable after writing a lie, thus demonstrating that the moral-purity metaphor is specific to the sensorimotor modality involved in earlier immoral behavior. FMRI results of this interaction showed activation in sensorimotor cortices during the evaluation phase that was somatotopically organized with respect to preceding lying in a voice mail (mouth-area) or in a written note (hand-area). Thus, the results provide evidence for a central role of the sensorimotor cortices for embodied metaphors.

  1. Dirty deeds and dirty bodies: Embodiment of the Macbeth effect is mapped topographically onto the somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Schaefer, Michael; Rotte, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Denke, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    The theory of embodied cognition claims that knowledge is represented in modal systems derived from perception. Recent behavioral studies found evidence for this hypothesis, for example, by linking moral purity with physical cleansing (the Macbeth effect). Neurophysiological approaches provided further support by showing an involvement of sensorimotor cortices for embodied metaphors. However, the exact role of this brain region for embodied cognitions remains to be cleared. Here we demonstrate that the involvement of the sensorimotor cortex for the embodied metaphor of moral-purity is somatotopically organized. Participants enacted in scenarios where they had to perform immoral or moral acts either with their mouths or their hands. Results showed that mouthwash products were particularly desirable after lying in a voice mail and hand wash products were particularly desirable after writing a lie, thus demonstrating that the moral-purity metaphor is specific to the sensorimotor modality involved in earlier immoral behavior. FMRI results of this interaction showed activation in sensorimotor cortices during the evaluation phase that was somatotopically organized with respect to preceding lying in a voice mail (mouth-area) or in a written note (hand-area). Thus, the results provide evidence for a central role of the sensorimotor cortices for embodied metaphors. PMID:26686599

  2. Somatosensory Temporal Discrimination Threshold Involves Inhibitory Mechanisms in the Primary Somatosensory Area.

    PubMed

    Rocchi, Lorenzo; Casula, Elias; Tocco, Pierluigi; Berardelli, Alfredo; Rothwell, John

    2016-01-13

    Somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT) is defined as the shortest time interval necessary for a pair of tactile stimuli to be perceived as separate. Although STDT is altered in several neurological disorders, its neural bases are not entirely clear. We used continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) to condition the excitability of the primary somatosensory cortex in healthy humans to examine its possible contribution to STDT. Excitability was assessed using the recovery cycle of the N20 component of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) and the area of high-frequency oscillations (HFO). cTBS increased STDT and reduced inhibition in the N20 recovery cycle at an interstimulus interval of 5 ms. It also reduced the amplitude of late HFO. All three effects were correlated. There was no effect of cTBS over the secondary somatosensory cortex on STDT, although it reduced the N120 component of the SEP. STDT is assessed conventionally with a simple ascending method. To increase insight into the effect of cTBS, we measured temporal discrimination with a psychophysical method. cTBS reduced the slope of the discrimination curve, consistent with a reduction of the quality of sensory information caused by an increase in noise. We hypothesize that cTBS reduces the effectiveness of inhibitory interactions normally used to sharpen temporal processing of sensory inputs. This reduction in discriminability of sensory input is equivalent to adding neural noise to the signal. Precise timing of sensory information is crucial for nearly every aspect of human perception and behavior. One way to assess the ability to analyze temporal information in the somatosensory domain is to measure the somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT), defined as the shortest time interval necessary for a pair of tactile stimuli to be perceived as separate. In this study, we found that STDT depends on inhibitory mechanisms within the primary somatosensory area (S1). This finding

  3. Homeostatic modulation of stimulation-dependent plasticity in human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Ilić, N V; Milanović, S; Krstić, J; Bajec, D D; Grajić, M; Ilić, T V

    2011-01-01

    Since recently, it is possible, using noninvasive cortical stimulation, such as the protocol of paired associative stimulation (PAS), to induce the plastic changes in the motor cortex, in humans that mimic Hebb's model of learning. Application of TMS conjugated with peripheral electrical stimulation at strictly coherent temporal manner lead to convergence of inputs in the sensory-motor cortex, with the consequent synaptic potentiation or weakening, if applied repetitively. However, when optimal interstimulus interval (ISI) for induction of LTP-like effects is applied as a single pair, Motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude inhibition is observed, the paradigm known as short-latency afferent inhibition (SLAI). Aiming to resolve this paradox, PAS protocols were applied, with 200 repetitions of TMS pulses paired with median nerve electrical stimulation, at ISI equal to individual latencies of evoked response of somatosensory cortex (N(20)) (PAS(LTP)), and at ISI of N(20) shortened for 5 msec (PAS(LTD)) - protocols that mimic LTP-like changes in the human motor cortex. MEP amplitudes before, during and after interventions were measured as an indicator based on output signals originating from the motor system. Post-intervention MEP amplitudes following the TMS protocols of PAS(LTP) and PAS(LTD) were facilitated and depressed, respectively, contrary to MEP amplitudes during intervention. During PAS(LTP) MEP amplitudes were significantly decreased in case of PAS(LTP), while in the case of PAS(LTD) an upward trend was observed. In conclusions, a possible explanation for the seemingly paradoxical effect of PAS can be found in the mechanism of homeostatic modulation of plasticity. Those findings indicate the existence of complex relationships in the development of plasticity induced by stimulation, depending on the level of the previous motor cortex excitability.

  4. Transformations in Oscillatory Activity and Evoked Responses in Primary Somatosensory Cortex in Middle Age: A Combined Computational Neural Modeling and MEG Study

    PubMed Central

    Ziegler, David A.; Pritchett, Dominique L.; Hosseini-Varnamkhasti, Paymon; Corkin, Suzanne; Hämäläinen, Matti; Moore, Christopher I.; Jones, Stephanie R.

    2010-01-01

    Oscillatory brain rhythms and evoked responses are widely believed to impact cognition, but relatively little is known about how these measures are affected by healthy aging. The present study used MEG to examine age-related changes in spontaneous oscillations and tactile evoked responses in primary somatosensory cortex (SI) in healthy young (YA) and middle-aged (MA) adults. To make specific predictions about neurophysiological changes that mediate age-related MEG changes, we applied a biophysically realistic model of SI that accurately reproduces SI MEG mu rhythms, containing alpha (7-14Hz) and beta (15-30Hz) components, and evoked responses. Analyses of MEG data revealed a significant increase in prestimulus mu power in SI, driven predominately by greater mu-beta dominance, and a larger and delayed M70 peak in the SI evoked response in MA. Previous analysis with our computational model showed that the SI mu rhythm could be reproduced with a stochastic sequence of rhythmic ∼10Hz feedforward (FF) input to the granular layers of SI (representative of lemniscal thalamic input) followed nearly simultaneously by ∼10Hz feedback (FB) input to the supragranular layers (representative of input from high order cortical or non-specific thalamic sources) (Jones et al., 2009). In the present study, the model further predicted that the rhythmic FF and FB inputs become stronger with age. Further, the FB input is predicted to arrive more synchronously to SI on each cycle of the 10Hz input in MA. The simulated neurophysiological changes are sufficient to account for the age-related differences in both prestimulus mu rhythms and evoked responses. Thus, the model predicts that a single set of neurophysiological changes intimately links these age-related changes in neural dynamics. PMID:20149881

  5. Transformations in oscillatory activity and evoked responses in primary somatosensory cortex in middle age: a combined computational neural modeling and MEG study.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, David A; Pritchett, Dominique L; Hosseini-Varnamkhasti, Paymon; Corkin, Suzanne; Hämäläinen, Matti; Moore, Christopher I; Jones, Stephanie R

    2010-09-01

    Oscillatory brain rhythms and evoked responses are widely believed to impact cognition, but relatively little is known about how these measures are affected by healthy aging. The present study used MEG to examine age-related changes in spontaneous oscillations and tactile evoked responses in primary somatosensory cortex (SI) in healthy young (YA) and middle-aged (MA) adults. To make specific predictions about neurophysiological changes that mediate age-related MEG changes, we applied a biophysically realistic model of SI that accurately reproduces SI MEG mu rhythms, containing alpha (7-14 Hz) and beta (15-30 Hz) components, and evoked responses. Analyses of MEG data revealed a significant increase in prestimulus mu power in SI, driven predominately by greater mu-beta dominance, and a larger and delayed M70 peak in the SI evoked response in MA. Previous analysis with our computational model showed that the SI mu rhythm could be reproduced with a stochastic sequence of rhythmic approximately 10 Hz feedforward (FF) input to the granular layers of SI (representative of lemniscal thalamic input) followed nearly simultaneously by approximately 10 Hz feedback (FB) input to the supragranular layers (representative of input from high order cortical or non-specific thalamic sources) (Jones et al., 2009). In the present study, the model further predicted that the rhythmic FF and FB inputs become stronger with age. Further, the FB input is predicted to arrive more synchronously to SI on each cycle of the 10 Hz input in MA. The simulated neurophysiological changes are sufficient to account for the age-related differences in both prestimulus mu rhythms and evoked responses. Thus, the model predicts that a single set of neurophysiological changes intimately links these age-related changes in neural dynamics. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Prolonged deficits in parvalbumin neuron stimulation-evoked network activity despite recovery of dendritic structure and excitability in the somatosensory cortex following global ischemia in mice.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yicheng; Chen, Shangbin; Wu, Yujin; Murphy, Timothy H

    2014-11-05

    Relatively few studies have examined plasticity of inhibitory neuronal networks following stroke in vivo, primarily due to the inability to selectively monitor inhibition. We assessed the structure of parvalbumin (PV) interneurons during a 5 min period of global ischemia and reperfusion in mice, which mimicked cerebral ischemia during cardiac arrest or forms of transient ischemic attack. The dendritic structure of PV-neurons in cortical superficial layers was rapidly swollen and beaded during global ischemia, but recovered within 5-10 min following reperfusion. Using optogenetics and a multichannel optrode, we investigated the function of PV-neurons in mouse forelimb somatosensory cortex. We demonstrated pharmacologically that PV-channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) stimulation evoked activation in layer IV/V, which resulted in rapid current sinks mediated by photocurrent and action potentials (a measure of PV-neuron excitability), which was then followed by current sources mediated by network GABAergic synaptic activity. During ischemic depolarization, the PV-ChR2-evoked current sinks (excitability) were suppressed, but recovered rapidly following reperfusion concurrent with repolarization of the DC-EEG. In contrast, the current sources reflecting GABAergic synaptic network activity recovered slowly and incompletely, and was coincident with the partial recovery of the forepaw stimulation-evoked current sinks in layer IV/V 30 min post reperfusion. Our in vivo data suggest that the excitability of PV inhibitory neurons was suppressed during global ischemia and rapidly recovered during reperfusion. In contrast, PV-ChR2 stimulation-evoked GABAergic synaptic network activity exhibited a prolonged suppression even ∼1 h after reperfusion, which could contribute to the dysfunction of sensation and cognition following transient global ischemia.

  7. Enriched housing enhances recovery of limb placement ability and reduces aggrecan-containing perineuronal nets in the rat somatosensory cortex after experimental stroke.

    PubMed

    Madinier, Alexandre; Quattromani, Miriana Jlenia; Sjölund, Carin; Ruscher, Karsten; Wieloch, Tadeusz

    2014-01-01

    Stroke causes life long disabilities where few therapeutic options are available. Using electrical and magnetic stimulation of the brain and physical rehabilitation, recovery of brain function can be enhanced even late after stroke. Animal models support this notion, and housing rodents in an enriched environment (EE) several days after experimental stroke stimulates lost brain function by multisensory mechanisms. We studied the dynamics of functional recovery of rats with a lesion to the fore and hind limb motor areas induced by photothrombosis (PT), and with subsequent housing in either standard (STD) or EE. In this model, skilled motor function is not significantly enhanced by enriched housing, while the speed of recovery of sensori-motor function substantially improves over the 9-week study period. In particular, this stroke lesion completely obliterates the fore and hind limb placing ability when visual and whisker guidance is prevented, a deficit that persists for up to 9 weeks of recovery, but that is markedly restored within 2 weeks by enriched housing. Enriched housing after stroke also leads to a significant loss of perineuronal net (PNN) immunoreactivity; detection of aggrecan protein backbone with AB1031 antibody was decreased by 13-22%, and labelling of a glycan moiety of aggrecan with Cat-315 antibody was reduced by 25-30% in the peri-infarct area and in the somatosensory cortex, respectively. The majority of these cells are parvalbumin/GABA inhibitory interneurons that are important in sensori-information processing. We conclude that damage to the fore and hind limb motor areas provides a model of loss of limb placing response without visual guidance, a deficit also seen in more than 50% of stroke patients. This loss is amenable to recovery induced by multiple sensory stimulation and correlates with a decrease in aggrecan-containing PNNs around inhibitory interneurons. Modulating the PNN structure after ischemic damage may provide new therapies

  8. Systemic blood pressure alters cortical blood flow and neurovascular coupling during nociceptive processing in the primary somatosensory cortex of the rat.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Sae; Bois, Suzie; Guillemot, Jean-Paul; Leblond, Hugues; Piché, Mathieu

    2017-02-20

    Inference on nociceptive and pain-related processes from functional magnetic resonance imaging is made with the assumption that the coupling of neuronal activity and cerebral hemodynamic changes is stable. However, since nociceptive stimulation is associated with increases in systemic arterial pressure, it is essential to determine whether this coupling remains the same during different levels of nociception and pain. The main objective of the present study was to compare the amplitude of local field potentials (LFP) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes in the primary somatosensory cortex during nociceptive electrical stimulation of the contralateral or ipsilateral forepaw in isoflurane-anesthetized rats, while manipulating mean arterial pressure (MAP). MAP changes induced by nociceptive stimulation were manipulated by transecting the spinal cord at the upper thoracic segments (T1-T2), which interrupts sympathetic pathways and prevents nociception-related MAP increases, while sensory pathways between the forepaws and the brain remain intact. Intensity-dependent increases in MAP and CBF were observed and these effects were abolished or significantly decreased after spinal transection (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively). In contrast, the intensity-dependent changes in LFP amplitude were decreased for the contralateral stimulation but increased for the ipsilateral stimulation after spinal transection (p<0.05). Thus, neurovascular coupling was altered differently by stimulus-induced MAP changes, depending on stimulus intensity and location. This demonstrates that CBF changes evoked by nociceptive processing do not always match neuronal activity, which may lead to inaccurate estimation of neuronal activity from hemodynamic changes. These results have important implications for neuroimaging of nociceptive and pain-related processes.

  9. Successful cryopreservation of human ovarian cortex tissues using supercooling.

    PubMed

    Moriguchi, Hisashi; Zhang, Yue; Mihara, Makoto; Sato, Chifumi

    2012-01-01

    The development of new method to cryopreserve human ovarian cortex tissues without damage is needed for the improvement of quality of life (QOL) of female cancer patients. Here we show novel cryopreservation method of human ovarian cortex tissues by using supercooling (S.C.) procedure. Our method will be helpful in order to preserve fertility of female cancer patients.

  10. Successful cryopreservation of human ovarian cortex tissues using supercooling

    PubMed Central

    Moriguchi, Hisashi; Zhang, Yue; Mihara, Makoto; Sato, Chifumi

    2012-01-01

    The development of new method to cryopreserve human ovarian cortex tissues without damage is needed for the improvement of quality of life (QOL) of female cancer patients. Here we show novel cryopreservation method of human ovarian cortex tissues by using supercooling (S.C.) procedure. Our method will be helpful in order to preserve fertility of female cancer patients. PMID:22844578

  11. Cell-Type and State-Dependent Synchronization among Rodent Somatosensory, Visual, Perirhinal Cortex, and Hippocampus CA1.

    PubMed

    Vinck, Martin; Bos, Jeroen J; Van Mourik-Donga, Laura A; Oplaat, Krista T; Klein, Gerbrand A; Jackson, Jadin C; Gentet, Luc J; Pennartz, Cyriel M A

    2015-01-01

    Beta and gamma rhythms have been hypothesized to be involved in global and local coordination of neuronal activity, respectively. Here, we investigated how cells in rodent area S1BF are entrained by rhythmic fluctuations at various frequencies within the local area and in connected areas, and how this depends on behavioral state and cell type. We performed simultaneous extracellular field and unit recordings in four connected areas of the freely moving rat (S1BF, V1M, perirhinal cortex, CA1). S1BF spiking activity was strongly entrained by both beta and gamma S1BF oscillations, which were associated with deactivations and activations, respectively. We identified multiple classes of fast spiking and excitatory cells in S1BF, which showed prominent differences in rhythmic entrainment and in the extent to which phase locking was modulated by behavioral state. Using an additional dataset acquired by whole-cell recordings in head-fixed mice, these cell classes could be compared with identified phenotypes showing gamma rhythmicity in their membrane potential. We next examined how S1BF cells were entrained by rhythmic fluctuations in connected brain areas. Gamma-synchronization was detected in all four areas, however we did not detect significant gamma coherence among these areas. Instead, we only found long-range coherence in the theta-beta range among these areas. In contrast to local S1BF synchronization, we found long-range S1BF-spike to CA1-LFP synchronization to be homogeneous across inhibitory and excitatory cell types. These findings suggest distinct, cell-type contributions of low and high-frequency synchronization to intra- and inter-areal neuronal interactions.

  12. Cell-Type and State-Dependent Synchronization among Rodent Somatosensory, Visual, Perirhinal Cortex, and Hippocampus CA1

    PubMed Central

    Vinck, Martin; Bos, Jeroen J.; Van Mourik-Donga, Laura A.; Oplaat, Krista T.; Klein, Gerbrand A.; Jackson, Jadin C.; Gentet, Luc J.; Pennartz, Cyriel M. A.

    2016-01-01

    Beta and gamma rhythms have been hypothesized to be involved in global and local coordination of neuronal activity, respectively. Here, we investigated how cells in rodent area S1BF are entrained by rhythmic fluctuations at various frequencies within the local area and in connected areas, and how this depends on behavioral state and cell type. We performed simultaneous extracellular field and unit recordings in four connected areas of the freely moving rat (S1BF, V1M, perirhinal cortex, CA1). S1BF spiking activity was strongly entrained by both beta and gamma S1BF oscillations, which were associated with deactivations and activations, respectively. We identified multiple classes of fast spiking and excitatory cells in S1BF, which showed prominent differences in rhythmic entrainment and in the extent to which phase locking was modulated by behavioral state. Using an additional dataset acquired by whole-cell recordings in head-fixed mice, these cell classes could be compared with identified phenotypes showing gamma rhythmicity in their membrane potential. We next examined how S1BF cells were entrained by rhythmic fluctuations in connected brain areas. Gamma-synchronization was detected in all four areas, however we did not detect significant gamma coherence among these areas. Instead, we only found long-range coherence in the theta-beta range among these areas. In contrast to local S1BF synchronization, we found long-range S1BF-spike to CA1–LFP synchronization to be homogeneous across inhibitory and excitatory cell types. These findings suggest distinct, cell-type contributions of low and high-frequency synchronization to intra- and inter-areal neuronal interactions. PMID:26834582

  13. Quantitative activity-induced manganese-dependent MRI for characterizing cortical layers in the primary somatosensory cortex of the rat.

    PubMed

    Auffret, Matthieu; Samim, Idrees; Lepore, Mario; Gruetter, Rolf; Just, Nathalie