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    Tool use modulates somatosensory cortical processing in humans

    Miller, L.E. and Longo, Matthew R. and Saygin, A.P. (2019) Tool use modulates somatosensory cortical processing in humans. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 31 (12), pp. 1782-1795. ISSN 0898-929X.

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    Tool use leads to plastic changes in sensorimotor body representations underlying tactile perception. The neural correlates of this tool-induced plasticity in humans have not been ad-equately characterized. The present study used event-related brain potentials to investigate the stage of sensory processing modulated by tool use. Somatosensory evoked potentials, elicited by median nerve stimulation, were recorded before and after two forms of object-interaction: tool use and hand use. Compared to baseline, tool use—but not use of the hand alone—modulated the amplitude of the P100. The P100 is a mid-latency component that in-dexes the construction of multisensory models of the body and has generators in secondary somatosensory and posterior parietal cortices. These results mark one of the first demon-strations of the neural correlates of tool-induced plasticity in humans and suggest that tool use modulates relatively late stages of somatosensory processing outside of primary soma-tosensory cortex. This finding is consistent with what has been observed in tool-trained monkeys and suggests that the mechanisms underlying tool-induced plasticity have been preserved across primate evolution.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Accepted for publication in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2019 17:36
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:52


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