somatosensory cortex

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Areas of the cerebral cortex, namely the primary somatosensory cortex, the secondary somatosensory area, and the somatosensory association area, devoted to processing information from the somatic receptors. The primary somatosensory cortex, also called the somaesthetic cortex, occupying the postcentral gyrus immediately behind the central sulcus of the temporal lobe in both cerebral hemispheres, is an area in which parts of the body are mapped contralaterally, with disproportionately large representations of hands, lips, and tongue. The small secondary somatosensory area in the parietal lobes responds specifically to painful stimuli relayed by the peripheral nervous system. The somatosensory association area, also called the somaesthetic association area or the supplementary sensory area, lies just behind the primary somatosensory cortex and provides a basis for stereognosis. Also called the somatic sensory cortex. See also cutaneous sense, sensorimotor cortex, somatosensory homunculus. [From Greek soma, somat- a body + Latin sensorius of the senses, from sensus felt, from sentire to sense]

Subjects: Psychology.

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