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Sensorimotor tongue representation in individuals with unilateral upper limb amelia


Funk, Marion; Lutz, Kai; Hotz-Boendermaker, Sabina; Roos, Malgorzata; Summers, Paul; Brugger, Peter; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Kollias, Spyros S (2008). Sensorimotor tongue representation in individuals with unilateral upper limb amelia. NeuroImage, 43(1):121-127.

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of the congenital absence of one hand on cortical organization of the sensorimotor cortex (S1/M1). We investigated the tongue representation in S1/M1 in nine participants with normally developed limbs, comprising the control group, and in eight persons with a congenitally completely missing hand (i.e. unilateral hand amelia). All participants were examined by fMRI while performing horizontal tongue movements. The significantly activated clusters covering S1/M1 in both hemispheres were analyzed with respect to the number and intensity of activated voxels, as well as the location of the activation. In the right-handed control group, the number of activated voxels was significantly higher in the left as compared to the right hemisphere demonstrating a clear left hemispheric motor dominance for horizontal tongue movements. In the amelic individuals, no such hemispheric lateralization effect was observed. The neural activation pattern underlying tongue movement, however, was enlarged and displaced in the hemisphere contralateral to the missing limb when compared to the respective motor non-dominant, right hemisphere of the control group participants. The present findings suggest that congenital absence of one hand leads to an appreciably altered topological organization of S1/M1 consisting of an enlargement of the tongue representation and a shift towards the "hand" area which, however, had never received any input from a hand.

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of the congenital absence of one hand on cortical organization of the sensorimotor cortex (S1/M1). We investigated the tongue representation in S1/M1 in nine participants with normally developed limbs, comprising the control group, and in eight persons with a congenitally completely missing hand (i.e. unilateral hand amelia). All participants were examined by fMRI while performing horizontal tongue movements. The significantly activated clusters covering S1/M1 in both hemispheres were analyzed with respect to the number and intensity of activated voxels, as well as the location of the activation. In the right-handed control group, the number of activated voxels was significantly higher in the left as compared to the right hemisphere demonstrating a clear left hemispheric motor dominance for horizontal tongue movements. In the amelic individuals, no such hemispheric lateralization effect was observed. The neural activation pattern underlying tongue movement, however, was enlarged and displaced in the hemisphere contralateral to the missing limb when compared to the respective motor non-dominant, right hemisphere of the control group participants. The present findings suggest that congenital absence of one hand leads to an appreciably altered topological organization of S1/M1 consisting of an enlargement of the tongue representation and a shift towards the "hand" area which, however, had never received any input from a hand.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neuroradiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
150 Psychology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:12 Nov 2008 13:43
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 13:36
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8119
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.06.011
PubMed ID:18617009

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