Neural correlates of crossmodal visual-tactile extinction and of tactile awareness revealed by fMRI in a right-hemisphere stroke patient.
2398 - 2410.
We used fMRl to study the neural correlates of crossmodal, visual-tactile extinction in a single case (patient GK). GK has chronic extinction after a lesion centred on right inferior parietal cortex, and has previously been investigated extensively in purely visual fMRI studies [e.g. Rees, G., Wojciulik, E., Clarke, K., Husain, M., Frith, C., & Driver, J. (2000). Unconscious activation of visual cortex in the damaged right hemisphere of a parietal patient with extinction. Brain, 123(Pt 8), 1624-1633; Rees, G., Kreiman, G., & Koch, C. (2002). Neural correlates of consciousness in humans. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3(4), 261-270]. With concurrent stimulation of the right visual field plus left index finger, GK showed crossmodal extinction of left touch on approximately half of such trials here (reflecting impaired sensitivity, i.e. lowered d-prime), albeit becoming aware of left touch on the other half. fMRI revealed activation of contralateral primary somatosensory cortex on crossmodal trials when touch was extinguished from awareness, suggesting unconscious residual processing there. When GK became aware of the left touch, additional activation was found in surviving right parietal cortex, and in frontal regions; moreover, functional coupling was enhanced with a region of frontal cortex implicated in awareness by previous work. Finally, on trials where crossmodal extinction arose, surviving right parietal cortex showed stronger functional coupling with the left visual and right somatosensory regions driven by the competing stimuli, indicating that crossmodal extinction arises when inputs to separate modalities interact competitively via multimodal cortex. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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