Physiological evidence for serial processing in somatosensory cortex

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Science  24 Jul 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4813, pp. 417-420
DOI: 10.1126/science.3603028


Removal of the representation of a specific body part in the postcentral cortex of the macaque resulted in the somatic deactivation of the corresponding body part in the second somatosensory area. In contrast, removal of the entire second somatosensory area had no grossly detectable effect on the somatic responsivity of neurons in the postcentral cortex. This direct electrophysiological evidence for serial cortical processing in somesthesia is similar to that found earlier for vision and, taken together with recent anatomical evidence, suggests that there is a common cortical plan for the processing of sensory information in the various sensory modalities.