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Revealing the neural fingerprints of a missing hand

Kikkert, S; Kolasinski, J; Jbabdi, S; Tracey, I; Beckmann, CF; Johansen-Berg, H; Makin, TR; (2016) Revealing the neural fingerprints of a missing hand. eLife , 5 , Article e15292. 10.7554/eLife.15292. Green open access

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Abstract

The hand area of the primary somatosensory cortex contains detailed finger topography, thought to be shaped and maintained by daily life experience. Here we utilise phantom sensations and ultra high-field neuroimaging to uncover preserved, though latent, representation of amputees’ missing hand. We show that representation of the missing hand’s individual fingers persists in the primary somatosensory cortex even decades after arm amputation. By demonstrating stable topography despite amputation, our finding questions the extent to which continued sensory input is necessary to maintain organisation in sensory cortex, thereby reopening the question what happens to a cortical territory once its main input is lost. The discovery of persistent digit topography of amputees’ missing hand could be exploited for the development of intuitive and fine-grained control of neuroprosthetics, requiring neural signals of individual digits.

Type: Article
Title: Revealing the neural fingerprints of a missing hand
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.15292
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15292
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Kikkert et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1531015
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