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Multimodal MRI mapping of the tactile finger area in the somatosensory cortex

MRI image (T1-weighted) of a human brain (Image: Susann Boretius; symbolic image).

Magnetic resonance imaging allows to not only obtaining a high resolution and therefore detailed image of the structure of the brain, but also in separate measurements to probe the function. For example, by separately stimulating the five fingertips of one hand, we can see
the elicited activation in the specific location in the brain, where the somatosensory map of the individual fingers is located. We also know from the MRI measurements of many volunteers, that despite general expectations of the location of the activation – the central sulcus – that there are individual differences: in the shape of the central sulcus and in the layout of the map of finger activation. Consequently different stimulation and analysis methods were tested out to obtain detailed and reliable descriptions of the functional activation of the single finger in individuals. We also searched for and found stable structural landmarks, detectable in each individual brain, to characterize the area along the central sulcus, where the functional finger map is located. In combining the structural and the functional information, we ultimately hope for an even better individual description of the finger area of the central sulcus.

Project leaders

Renate Schweizer +49 551 3851-385 Contact Profile

Hans Scherberger +49 551 3851-494 Contact Profile

Susann Boretius

Susann Boretius +49 551 3851-390 +49 551 3851-394 Contact

Contributing research groups


Functional Imaging

Biomedical NMR