Sense, memory, and decision-making in the somatosensory cortical network

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2012 Dec;22(6):914-9. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2012.08.002. Epub 2012 Aug 28.


The brain constructs representations of objects and concepts based in sensory information combined with experience. This mental process, that we call perception, is the result of a chain of events consisting of phenomena such as detection, memory, discrimination, categorization and decision-making. Although the phenomenon of perception is not necessarily dependent on a given sensory modality (e.g. visual perception, auditory, tactile), single sensory models are indispensable for studying the neural mechanisms that generate it. The somatosensory system is a suitable model for studying the manner in which presentation of a single physical variable (e.g. vibration) triggers a perceptual process. Here, we discuss some recent studies in the somatosensory system that in our view, constitute a breakthrough to understanding decision making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Perception / physiology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*