Optical Imaging of a Tactile Illusion in Area 3b of the Primary Somatosensory Cortex

Li M. Chen, Robert M. Friedman, Anna Roe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

124 Scopus citations


In the tactile funneling illusion, the simultaneous presentation of brief stimuli at multiple points on the skin produces a single focal sensation at the center of the stimulus pattern even when no physical stimulus occurs at that site, Consistent with the funneling percept, we show with optical imaging in area 3b of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) that simultaneous stimulation of two fingertips produces a single focal cortical activation between the single fingertip activation regions. Thus, in contrast to traditional views of the body map, topographic representation in the SI reflects the perceived rather than the physical location of peripheral stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)881-885
Number of pages5
Issue number5646
Publication statusPublished - Oct 31 2003
Externally publishedYes


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