In this functional MRI study, we investigated how the human brain activity represents tactile location information evoked by pressure stimulation on fingers. Using the searchlight multivoxel pattern analysis, we looked for local activity patterns that could be decoded into one of four stimulated finger locations. The supramarginal gyrus (SMG) and the thalamus were found to contain distinct multivoxel patterns corresponding to individual stimulated locations. In contrast, the univariate general linear model analysis contrasting stimulation against resting phases for each finger identified activations mainly in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), but not in SMG or in thalamus. Our results indicate that S1 might be involved in the detection of the presence of pressure stimuli, whereas the SMG and the thalamus might play a role in identifying which finger is stimulated. This finding may provide additional evidence for hierarchical information processing in the human somatosensory areas.
- functional MRI
- hierarchical somatosensory processing
- multivoxel pattern analysis
- pressure stimulus
ASJC Scopus subject areas