TERM DATABASE

Secondary somatosensory cortex

Last update: September 18, 2022
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By BrainMatters

Summary

This area is part of the somatosensory cortex, and thus involved in processing tactile information.

Function

This area is part of the somatosensory system. This means that it is involved in everything related to touch. More complex processing of tactile stimuli takes place in this area, such as comparing textures.

Location

BA 40 is found in the parietal lobe, and together with BA 43 forms the parietal operculum. This parietal operculum includes the secondary somatosensory cortex.

Fact

This area actually forms a somatosensory map. This means that there is a representation of the body in the brain. For example, the fingers cover adjacent areas of the brain. In BA 40, the processes for tactile processing are already more advanced than for example in the primary somatosensory cortex. As a result, there are neurons that respond to larger parts of the body in order to get a better picture of the entire object being touched.

Patients

Patients with damage to this area have difficulty with touch and using touch to process environmental and object information.

Author: Myrthe Princen (translated by Melanie Smekal)

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