Remodeling of somotasensory hand representations following cerebral lesions in humans

Brenda Rapp, Sharma K. Hendel, Jared Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is evidence of reorganization of somatotopic maps following cortical lesions in mammals such as monkeys, raccoons and rats. However, there has been a striking lack of research on somatosensory plasticity following cerebral damage in adult humans. We describe two individuals with left hemisphere damage who misperceive the locations of tactile stimuli whose presence or absence they can readily detect. We find that the mislocalizations preserve the relative topography of pre-lesion experiences, resulting in shifted and compressed representations of the hand surfaces. These results not only provide evidence for systematic remodeling of somatotopic maps in humans, they also reveal that the systematic changes in cortical topography that have been documented using electrophysiological methods may give rise to similarly systematic changes in somatosensory perception itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-211
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 11 2002


  • Cortical plasticity
  • Cortical reorganization
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Somatosensory maps
  • Somatosensory plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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