Title

Representation of Multiple Body Parts in the Missing-Hand Territory of Congenital One-Handers.

Authors

Avital Hahamy, Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Herzl Street, Rehovot 7610001, Israel
Scott N Macdonald, Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7, Canada & Brain and Mind Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7, Canada
Fiona van den Heiligenberg, FMRIB Centre, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK
Paullina Kieliba, FMRIB Centre, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK
Uzay Emir, FMRIB Centre, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK
Rafael Malach, Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Herzl Street, Rehovot 7610001, Israel
Heidi Johansen-Berg, FMRIB Centre, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK
Peter Brugger, Department of Neurology, Neuropsychology Unit, University Hospital Zurich, Frauenklinikstrasse 26, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
Jody C Culham, Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7, Canada & Brain and Mind Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7, Canada & & Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7, Canada
Tamar R Makin, FMRIB Centre, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK & Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London WC1N 3AZ, UKFollow

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-8-2017

Journal

Current biology : CB

Volume

27

Issue

9

First Page

1350

Last Page

1355

URL with Digital Object Identifier

10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.053

Abstract

Individuals born without one hand (congenital one-handers) provide a unique model for understanding the relationship between focal reorganization in the sensorimotor cortex and everyday behavior. We previously reported that the missing hand's territory of one-handers becomes utilized by its cortical neighbor (residual arm representation), depending on residual arm usage in daily life to substitute for the missing hand's function [1, 2]. However, the repertoire of compensatory behaviors may involve utilization of other body parts that do not cortically neighbor the hand territory. Accordingly, the pattern of brain reorganization may be more extensive [3]. Here we studied unconstrained compensatory strategies under ecological conditions in one-handers, as well as changes in activation, connectivity, and neurochemical profile in their missing hand's cortical territory. We found that compensatory behaviors in one-handers involved multiple body parts (residual arm, lips, and feet). This diversified compensatory profile was associated with large-scale cortical reorganization, regardless of cortical proximity to the hand territory. Representations of those body parts used to substitute hand function all mapped onto the cortical territory of the missing hand, as evidenced by task-based and resting-state fMRI. The missing-hand territory also exhibited reduced GABA levels, suggesting a reduction in connectional selectivity to enable the expression of diverse cortical inputs. Because the same body parts used for compensatory purposes are those showing increased representation in the missing hand's territory, we suggest that the typical hand territory may not necessarily represent the hand per se, but rather any other body part that shares the functionality of the missing hand [4].

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