Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


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Wang Y, Sibaii F, Custead R, Oh H and Barlow SM (2020) Functional Connectivity Evoked by Orofacial Tactile Perception of Velocity. Front. Neurosci. 14:182. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2020.00182


The cortical representations of orofacial pneumotactile stimulation involve complex neuronal networks, which are still unknown. This study aims to identify the characteristics of functional connectivity (FC) evoked by three different saltatory velocities over the perioral and buccal surface of the lower face using functional magnetic resonance imaging in twenty neurotypical adults. Our results showed a velocity of 25 cm/s evoked stronger connection strength between the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the right thalamus than a velocity of 5 cm/s. The decreased FC between the right secondary somatosensory cortex and right posterior parietal cortex for 5-cm/s velocity versus all three velocities delivered simultaneously (“All ON”) and the increased FC between the right thalamus and bilateral secondary somatosensory cortex for 65 cm/s vs “All ON” indicated that the right secondary somatosensory cortex might play a role in the orofacial tactile perception of velocity. Our results have also shown different patterns of FC for each seed (bilateral primary and secondary somatosensory cortex) at various velocity contrasts (5 vs 25 cm/s, 5 vs 65 cm/s, and 25 vs 65 cm/s). The similarities and differences of FC among three velocities shed light on the neuronal networks encoding the orofacial tactile perception of velocity.