Ventrolateral and dorsomedial somatosensory association cortex damage produces distinct somesthetic syndromes in humans

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Abstract

Five somatosensory cortices have distinctive somatotopic representations, cytoarchitecture, and connectivity: primary somatosensory cortex (SI), ventrolateral association cortices (SII, SIII, and SIV), and dorsomedial association cortex (supplementary sensory area). Patients with focal lesions of ventrolateral (n = 5) and dorsomedial (n = 6) somatosensory association cortices (SACs) and hemiparetic (n = 8) and neurologically normal control patients (n = 14) underwent detailed somesthetic testing that encompassed basic, intermediate, and complex (tactile object recognition) somesthetic functions. Dorsomedial lesions acutely caused severe disruption of somesthetic processing and severe apraxia when the area of damage was extensive and involved anterior and posterior cortices. In contrast, ventrolateral lesions caused tactile agnosia. Chronically, sensorimotor function following dorsomedial damage improved considerably. Tactile agnosia following ventrolateral damage, however, was readily detectable for years following onset. Functional differences between ventrolateral and dorsomedial SACs may reflect parallel processing in dual somatosensory systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)762-771
Number of pages10
JournalNeurology
Volume43
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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