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Large Unresponsive Zones Appear in Cat Somatosensory Cortex Immediately After Ulnar Nerve Cut

     Cheng-Xiang Li, Robert S Waters, Akinniran Oladehin, Eldridge F Johnson, Carl A McCandlish and Robert W Dykes

Abstract:   The organization of the primary somatosensory cortex innervated by the ulnar nerve was studied before and immediately after ulnar nerve transection in 11 cats electrophysiologically mapped under Nembutal or Ketamine anesthesia. The cortex was reexamined a second time beginning 42 hr after nerve transection in four cats anesthetized with Nembutal. One additional sham-operated control was also mapped. The region of cortex formerly served by the ulnar nerve remained largely unresponsive to somatic stimulation independent of the type of anesthetic used during recording. Nonetheless, animals anesthetized with Ketamine had more new responsive sites in deafferented cortex following nerve cut than cats anesthetized with Nembutal. New responses, when observed, were evoked by stimulation of a region of skin adjacent to the region served by the ulnar nerve. These findings suggest that the immediate response to deafferentation of somatosensory cortex is a limited acquisition of novel responses restricted to a region immediately adjacent to cortex containing normal afferent input.

Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1994; 21: 233-247


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