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Fast Event-Related Mapping of Population Fingertip Tuning Properties in Human Sensorimotor Cortex at 7T


Sarah Khalife

Rosa Maria

Julien Besle


fMRI studies that investigate somatotopic tactile representations in the human cortex typically use either block or phase-encoded stimulation designs. Event-related (ER) designs allow for more flexible and unpredictable stimulation sequences than the other methods, but they are less efficient. Here, we compared an efficiency-optimized fast ER design (2.8-s average intertrial interval; ITI) to a conventional slow ER design (8-s average ITI) for mapping voxelwise fingertip tactile tuning properties in the sensorimotor cortex of six participants at 7 Tesla. The fast ER design yielded more reliable responses compared with the slow ER design, but with otherwise similar tuning prop-erties. Concatenating the fast and slow ER data, we demonstrate in each individual brain the existence of two sep-arate somatotopically-organized tactile representations of the fingertips, one in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) on the postcentral gyrus, and the other shared across the motor and premotor cortices on the precentral gyrus. In both S1 and motor representations, fingertip selectivity decreased progressively, from narrowly-tuned Brodmann area (BA) 3b and BA4a, respectively, toward associative parietal and frontal regions that responded equally to all fingertips, suggesting increasing information integration along these two pathways. In addition, fingertip selectivity in S1 decreased from the cortical representation of the thumb to that of the pinky.


Khalife, S., Francis, S. T., Schluppeck, D., Sánchez-Panchuelo, R. M., & Besle, J. (2022). Fast Event-Related Mapping of Population Fingertip Tuning Properties in Human Sensorimotor Cortex at 7T. eNeuro, 9(5), 1-18.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 31, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2022
Publication Date Sep 1, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 1, 2022
Journal eNeuro
Electronic ISSN 2373-2822
Publisher Society for Neuroscience
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 5
Article Number 0069-22
Pages 1-18
Keywords General Medicine; General Neuroscience
Public URL
Publisher URL


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