Journal Article

Body Topography Parcellates Human Sensory and Motor Cortex

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

in Cerebral Cortex

Volume 27, issue 7, pages 3790-3805
Published in print July 2017 | ISSN: 1047-3211
Published online February 2017 | e-ISSN: 1460-2199 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhx026
Body Topography Parcellates Human Sensory and Motor Cortex

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  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neuroscience
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Abstract

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.

Keywords: embodiment; hand–face border; parcellation; plasticity; septa

Journal Article.  12027 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; Clinical Neuroscience ; Neuroscience

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