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A variant of the mammalian somatotopic map in a bat


Calford, MB and Graydon, ML and Huerta, MF and Kaas, JH and Pettigrew, JD, A variant of the mammalian somatotopic map in a bat, Nature, 313, (6002) pp. 477-479. ISSN 0028-0836 (1985) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1038/313477a0


Two ordered representations of the body surface, S-I and S-II, have been described on the cortical surface of the brains of a variety of mammals; additional separate topographical maps have been found in the somatosensory cortex of the cat and monkey. Except for minor variations in the placement of the body parts, the basic somatotopy of the maps is remarkably consistent across species. As the reasons for this consistency and the minor variatons are unclear, we examined the somatotopy of the bat, whose body plan has been modified extensively so that the forelimb can be used for flight. We report here that in both S-I and S-II of the grey-headed flying fox, not only is the representation of the distal forelimb displaced from its usual position on the map, but the digits are directed caudally instead of rostrally as they are in all other mammals studied. The variant somatotopy appears to reflect the postural differences between flying and walking mammals, supporting the notion that topographical maps may have functional significance apart from their point-to-point connections with the sensory periphery.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:animal experiment; body surface; brain cortex; central nervous system; mammal; nonhuman; priority journal; somatosensory cortex; somatotopy; Animals; Chiroptera; Electrophysiology; Forelimb; Microelectrodes; Somatosensory Cortex
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Neurology and neuromuscular diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Calford, MB (Professor Mike Calford)
ID Code:91253
Year Published:1985
Web of Science® Times Cited:46
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2014-05-13
Last Modified:2014-05-13

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