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    Inter-hemispheric integration of tactile-motor responses across body parts

    Tamè, Luigi and Longo, Matthew R. (2015) Inter-hemispheric integration of tactile-motor responses across body parts. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9 , 00345. ISSN 1662-5161.

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    Abstract

    In simple detection tasks, reaction times are faster when stimuli are presented to the visual field or side of the body ipsilateral to the body part used to respond. This advantage, the crossed-uncrossed difference (CUD), is thought to reflect inter-hemispheric interactions needed for sensorimotor information to be integrated between the two cerebral hemispheres. However, it is unknown whether the tactile CUD is invariant when different body parts are stimulated. The most likely structure mediating such processing is thought to be the corpus callosum (CC). Neurophysiological studies have shown that there are denser callosal connections between regions that represent proximal parts of the body near the body midline and more sparse connections for regions representing distal extremities. Therefore, if the information transfer between the two hemispheres is affected by the density of callosal connections, stimuli presented on more distal regions of the body should produce a greater CUD compared to stimuli presented on more proximal regions. This is because interhemispheric transfer of information from regions with sparse callosal connections will be less efficient, and hence slower. Here, we investigated whether the CUD is modulated as a function of the different body parts stimulated by presenting tactile stimuli unpredictably on body parts at different distances from the body midline (i.e., Middle Finger, Forearm, or Forehead of each side of the body). Participants detected the stimulus and responded as fast as possible using either their left or right foot. Results showed that the magnitude of the CUD was larger on the finger (~2.6 ms) and forearm (~1.8 ms) than on the forehead (~-0.9 ms). This result suggests that the interhemispheric transfer of tactile stimuli varies as a function of the strength of callosal connections of the body parts.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Tactile, body parts, interhemispheric transfer, CUD, sensorimotor integration
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2015 12:40
    Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 11:52
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/12286

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