Stable Cortical Body Maps Before and After Arm Amputation.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology(2023)

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摘要
Neuroscientists have long debated the adult brain's capacity to reorganize itself in response to injury. A driving model for studying plasticity has been limb amputation. For decades, it was believed that amputation triggers large-scale reorganization of cortical body resources. However, these studies have relied on cross-sectional observations post-amputation, without directly tracking neural changes. Here, we longitudinally followed adult patients with planned arm amputations and measured hand and face representations, before and after amputation. By interrogating the representational structure elicited from movements of the hand (pre-amputation) and phantom hand (post-amputation), we demonstrate that hand representation is unaltered. Further, we observed no evidence for lower face (lip) reorganization into the deprived hand region. Collectively, our findings provide direct and decisive evidence that amputation does not trigger large-scale cortical reorganization.
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