Effects of co-activation on cortical organization and discrimination performance

Karin Stefanie Pilz, Ralf Veit, Christoph Braun, Ben Godde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


We used fMRI to investigate the effects of tactile co-activation on the topographic organization of the human primary somatosensory cortex (SI). Behavioral consequences of co-activation were studied in a psychophysical task assessing the mislocalization of tactile stimuli. Co-activation was applied to the index, middle and ring fingers of the right hand either synchronously or asynchronously. Cortical representations for synchronously co-activated fingers moved closer together, whereas cortical representations for asynchronously co-activated fingers became segregated. Behaviorally, this pattern coincided with an increased and reduced number of mislocalizations between synchronously and asynchronously co-activated fingers, respectively. Thus, both synchronous and asynchronous coupling of passive tactile stimulation is able to induce short-term cortical reorganization associated with functionally relevant changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2669-2672
Number of pages4
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2004


  • somatosensory
  • reorgani
  • fMRI
  • psychophysics
  • somatosensory cortex
  • rat barrel cortex
  • tactile coactivation
  • representations
  • hand
  • mislocalizations
  • reorganization
  • stimulation
  • Improvement


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