Publication Details

Krubitzer, L., Clarey, J., Tweedale, R., Elston, G. & Calford, M. (1995). A redefinition of somatosensory areas in the lateral sulcus of macaque monkeys. The Journal of Neuroscience, 15 3821-3839.


The present investigation was designed to determine the organization of somatosensory fields in the lateral sulcus of macaque monkeys using standard microelectrode recording techniques. Our results provide evidence for two complete representations of the body surface. We term these fields the second somatosensory area (SII) and the parietal ventral area (PV) because of their similarities in position, internal organization, and relationship to anterior parietal fields, as described for SII and PV in other mammals. Areas SII and PV are mirror- symmetrical representations of the body surface, sharing a common boundary at the representations of the digits of the hand and foot, lips, and mouth. These fields are located adjacent to the face representations of anterior parietal fields (areas 3b, 1, and 2), and are bounded ventrally and caudally by other regions of cortex in which neurons are responsive to somatic or multimodal stimulation. The finding of a double representation of the body surface in the region of cortex traditionally designated as SII may explain conflicting descriptions of SII organization in macaque monkeys. In addition, the present study raises some questions regarding the designation of serial processing pathways in Old World monkeys, by suggesting that fields may have been confused in studies demonstrating such pathways. We propose that SII and PV are components of a common plan of organization, and are present in many eutherian mammals.