Short Term Memory and Cortex Activation

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The primary somatosensory cortex is known for having many roles in tactile and haptic memory. That is, this region of the brain is known for its role in touch. The processing of touch is complex and involves a lot sorting and coordination in the midbrain and hindbrain regions. The primary somatosensory cortex's role in this process is mostly processing where signals come from, that is it functions a lot to just initially process signals. However, a recent research study from Italy has put this very basic function into question and instead suggest the primary somatosensory cortex also plays a significant role in short term memory.

This study have the subject put their index finger on a vibrating piece of metal. This piece of metal was set to vibrate pretty heavily. The subject would leave their finger on this piece of metal. The metal would then vibrate for one second. After this a 1.5 second delay was given. Then the vibration was repeated (same intensity and duration). Without interference most people could tell these vibrations were the same. However, when researchers took a magnetic coal which worked to disturb the primary somatosensory cortex and applied it to the region, 300-600 ms after the initial metal vibration, subjects were noticeably less accurate and identifying the metal on their finger was vibrating at the same rate.

I thought this article was interesting and goes into more detail, talking other factors. Read up if you would like.

1 Comment

The article is pretty interesting and I am thanksful to you for giving teh basics of it and the link to it! The researches made on the functions of the somatosensory cortex and his role in short term memory are pretty amazing and innovative. So I hope some more reasonings are going to be brought in their support!

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This page contains a single entry by frenz059 published on December 4, 2011 10:59 PM.

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