Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The in vivo functional neuroanatomy and neurochemistry of vibrotactile processing
Author: Puts, Nicolaas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2732 3125
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Touch is a sense with which humans are able to actively explore the world around them. Primary somatosensory cortex (S1) processing has been studied to differing degrees at both the macroscopic and microscopic levels in both humans and animals. Both levels of enquiry have their advantages, but attempts to combine the two approaches are still in their infancy. One mechanism that is possibly involved in determining the reponse properties of neurons that are involved in sensory discrimination is inhibition by γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Several studies have shown that inhibition is an important mechanism to “tune” the response of neurons. Recently it has become possible to measure the concentration of GABA in vivo using edited Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS), whereas magnetoencephalography (MEG) offers the possibility to look at changes in neuromagnetic activation with millisecond accuracy. With these methods we aimed to establish whether in vivo non-invasive neuroimaging can elucidate the underlying neuronal mechanisms of human tactile behaviour and to determine how such findings can be integrated with what is currently known from invasive methods. Edited GABA-MRS has shown that individual GABA concentration in S1 correlates strongly with tactile frequency discrimination. MEG was used to investigate the neuromagnetic correlates of a frequency discrimination paradigm in which we induced adaptation to a 25 Hz frequency. We showed that S1 is driven by the adapting stimulus and shows that neural rhythms are modulated as a result of adaptation. This is the first time that behavioural psychophysics of tactile adaptation has been investigated using complimentary neuroimaging methods. We combined different methods to complement both physiological and behavioural studies of tactile processing in S1 to investigate the factors involved in the neural dynamics of tactile processing and we show that non-invasive studies on humans can be used to understand physiological underpinnings of somatosensory processing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; QH301 Biology ; QP Physiology