Bilateral receptive field neurons and callosal connections in the somatosensory cortex

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2000 Feb 29;355(1394):267-73. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2000.0563.


Earlier studies recording single neuronal activity with bilateral receptive fields in the primary somatosensory cortex of monkeys and cats agreed that the bilateral receptive fields were related exclusively to the body midline and that the ipsilateral information reaches the cortex via callosal connections since they are dense in the cortical region representing the midline structures of the body while practically absent in the regions representing the distal extremities. We recently found a substantial number of neurons with bilateral receptive fields on hand digits, shoulders-arms or legs-feet in the caudalmost part (areas 2 and 5) of the postcentral gyrus in awake Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata). I review these results, discuss the functional implications of this bilateral representation in the postcentral somatosensory cortex from a behavioural standpoint and give a new interpretation to the midline fusion theory.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corpus Callosum / cytology*
  • Corpus Callosum / physiology*
  • Macaca
  • Neural Pathways
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / cytology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*