Somatosensory Cortex: Organization
In 1909, Brodmann published maps of the different regions of cortex in humans and monkeys (Brodmann 1909). He partitioned the postcentral gyrus into three distinct areas based on cytoarchitecture and cell organization. From rostral to caudal, he designated these areas as areas 3, 1, and 2. Later studies showed that Brodmann’s area 3 could be functionally and structurally divided into two distinct areas now labeled areas 3a and 3b (Vogt and Vogt 1919). Although all four brain areas are often together designated primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and to an extent respond to cutaneous stimulation, area 3b is most analogous to the other primary sensory cortices given its similarity in inputs and laminar structure. Area 3b is thus S1 proper.
Later, in 1940 Adrian discovered a second brain region, adjacent to S1, which contained representations of the forefoot and hindfoot in cats (Adrian 1940). Adrian initially thought this area to be a cortex dedicated to the cats’ special ability...
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