2-Minute Neuroscience: Primary Somatosensory Cortex
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  • Release Date: 2024-04-07
Playlist
  • somatic sensation
  • touch
  • proprioception
  • nociception
  • brain
Video Introduction

The content is sourced from: https://youtu.be/8hDoO0wcq8Q

The primary somatosensory cortex is responsible for processing somatic sensations, or sensations from the body that include touch, proprioception (i.e. the position of the body in space), nociception (i.e. pain), and temperature. The primary somatosensory cortex is generally divided into 4 areas: area 3a, 3b, 1, and 2. In the video, I discuss the relative functions of each of these areas.[1]

The primary somatosensory cortex is located in a ridge of cortex called the postcentral gyrus. It is situated just posterior to the central sulcus, a prominent fissure that runs down the side of the cerebral cortex. The primary somatosensory cortex is responsible for processing somatic sensations, or sensations from the body that include touch, proprioception or the position of the body in space, nociception or pain, and temperature. When receptors detect one of these sensations, the information is sent to the thalamus and then to the primary somatosensory cortex. 

The primary somatosensory cortex is typically divided into 4 areas: area 3a, 3b, 1, and 2. Area 3 receives the majority of somatosensory input directly from the thalamus, and the initial processing of information occurs here. Area 3b is primarily concerned with basic processing of touch sensations, while area 3a responds to information from proprioceptors. Area 3b is densely connected to areas 1 and 2, and when area 3b receives touch information, that information is then sent to areas 1 and 2 for more complex processing. Area 2 is also involved with proprioception. 

Each of the four areas of the primary somatosensory cortex is arranged such that a particular location in that area receives information from a particular part of the body. This arrangement is referred to as somatotopic, and the full body is represented in this way in each of the four regions of the somatosensory cortex. More sensitive areas of the body take up a disproportionate amount of space in this somatotopic arrangement.

References
  1. Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, Hall WC, Lamantia AS, McNamara JO, White LE. Neuroscience. 4th ed. Sunderland, MA. Sinauer Associates; 2008.
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Challenged, N. 2-Minute Neuroscience: Primary Somatosensory Cortex. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1184 (accessed on 25 May 2024).
Challenged N. 2-Minute Neuroscience: Primary Somatosensory Cortex. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1184. Accessed May 25, 2024.
Challenged, Neuroscientifically. "2-Minute Neuroscience: Primary Somatosensory Cortex" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1184 (accessed May 25, 2024).
Challenged, N. (2024, April 07). 2-Minute Neuroscience: Primary Somatosensory Cortex. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1184
Challenged, Neuroscientifically. "2-Minute Neuroscience: Primary Somatosensory Cortex." Encyclopedia. Web. 07 April, 2024.
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