Spatiotemporal stimulus effects on response properties of neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex of owl monkeys
Reed, Jamie Lynn
I investigated how tactile stimuli applied to different parts of one hand and to both hands affect neuronal response properties in primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b) of owl monkeys. The premise of this research is that object discrimination requires integration of information from across the hand, and when used together, from both hands; and this integration is likely to involve area 3b. With colleagues, I recorded neuronal activity from 100-electrode arrays implanted in the hand representation of area 3b of five owl monkeys. From these large samples of simultaneous neuronal activity, I analyzed the effects of spatiotemporal tactile stimulation on three basic measures: firing rate, response latency, and spike timing correlations between neuron pairs. From these studies, I concluded that widespread spatial and temporal integration occurs within the area 3b hand representation and across the two hemispheres; and the results helped to quantify the extent and strength of these spatiotemporal interactions.