Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Investigating the stability of fine-grain digit somatotopy in individual human participants

Kolasinski, James ORCID:, Makin, Tamar R., Jbabdi, Saad, Clare, Stuart, Stagg, Charlotte J. and Johansen-Berg, Heidi 2016. Investigating the stability of fine-grain digit somatotopy in individual human participants. Journal of Neuroscience 36 (4) , pp. 1113-1127. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1742-15.2016

[thumbnail of JNeuro_2016_Final_sub.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (22MB) | Preview


Studies of human primary somatosensory cortex (S1) have placed a strong emphasis on the cortical representation of the hand and the propensity for plasticity therein. Despite many reports of group differences and experience-dependent changes in cortical digit somatotopy, relatively little work has considered the variability of these maps across individuals and to what extent this detailed functional architecture is dynamic over time. With the advent of 7 T fMRI, it is increasingly feasible to map such detailed organization noninvasively in individual human participants. Here, we extend the ability of ultra-high-field imaging beyond a technological proof of principle to investigate the intersubject variability of digit somatotopy across participants and the stability of this organization across a range of intervals. Using a well validated phase-encoding paradigm and an active task, we demonstrate the presence of highly reproducible maps of individual digits in S1, sharply contrasted by a striking degree of intersubject variability in the shape, extent, and relative position of individual digit representations. Our results demonstrate the presence of very stable fine-grain somatotopy of the digits in human S1 and raise the issue of population variability in such detailed functional architecture of the human brain. These findings have implications for the study of detailed sensorimotor plasticity in the context of both learning and pathological dysfunction. The simple task and 10 min scan required to derive these maps also raises the potential for this paradigm as a tool in the clinical setting.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
ISSN: 0270-6474
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 February 2017
Date of Acceptance: 1 December 2015
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2023 08:28

Citation Data

Cited 69 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics