Touching motion: rTMS on the human middle temporal complex interferes with tactile speed perception

Basso, Demis, Pavan, Andrea, Ricciardi, Emiliano , Fagioli, Sabrina, Vecchi, Tomaso, Miniussi, Carlo and Pietrini, Pietro (2012) Touching motion: rTMS on the human middle temporal complex interferes with tactile speed perception. Brain Topography, 25 (4). pp. 389-398. ISSN 0896-0267

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Brain functional and psychophysical studies have clearly demonstrated that visual motion perception relies on the activity of the middle temporal complex (hMT+). However, recent studies have shown that hMT+ seems to be also activated during tactile motion perception, suggesting that this visual extrastriate area is involved in the processing and integration of motion, irrespective of the sensorial modality. In the present study, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to assess whether hMT+ plays a causal role in tactile motion processing. Blindfolded participants detected changes in the speed of a grid of tactile moving points with their finger (i.e. tactile modality). The experiment included three different conditions: a control condition with no TMS and two TMS conditions, i.e. hMT+-rTMS and posterior parietal cortex (PPC)-rTMS. Accuracies were significantly impaired during hMT+-rTMS but not in the other two conditions (No-rTMS or PPC-rTMS), moreover, thresholds for detecting speed changes were significantly higher in the hMT+-rTMS with respect to the control TMS conditions. These findings provide stronger evidence that the activity of the hMT+ area is involved in tactile speed processing, which may be consistent with the hypothesis of a supramodal role for that cortical region in motion processing.

Keywords:Repetitive TMS, Speed detection, Tactile, Temporal lobe
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:16319
Deposited On:22 Dec 2014 17:06

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