Connectivity of somatosensory cortical area 1 forms an anatomical substrate for the emergence of multifinger receptive fields and complex feature selectivity in the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus)

Mária Ashaber, Emese Pálfi, Robert M. Friedman, Cory Palmer, Balázs Jákli, Li Min Chen, Orsolya Kántor, Anna W. Roe, László Négyessy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Converging evidence shows that interaction of digit-specific input, which is required to form global tactile percepts, begins as early as area 3b in the primary somatosensory cortex with the involvement of intrinsic lateral connections. How tactile processing is further elaborated in area 1, the next stage of the somatosensory cortical hierarchy, is less understood. This question was investigated by studying the tangential distribution of intrinsic and interareal connections of finger representations of area 1. Retrogradely labeled cell densities and anterogradely labeled fibers and terminal patches were plotted and quantified with respect to the hand representation by combining tract tracing with electrophysiological mapping and intrinsic signal optical imaging in somatosensory areas. Intrinsic connections of distal finger pad representations of area 1 spanned the representation of multiple digits indicating strong cross-digit connectivity. Area 1 distal finger pad regions also established high-density connections with homotopic regions of areas 3b and 2. Although similar to area 3b, connections of area 1 distributed more widely and covered a larger somatotopic representation including more proximal parts of the finger representations. The lateral connectivity pattern of area 1 is a suitable anatomical substrate of the emergence of multifinger receptive fields, complex feature selectivity, and invariant stimulus properties of the neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1769-1785
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2014



  • Cortical hierarchy
  • Optical imaging
  • Primate
  • Touch
  • Tract tracing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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