Mechanical Noxious Stimuli Cause Bilateral Activation of Parietal Operculum in Callosotomized Subjects

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The patterns of cortical activation evoked by tactile and mechanical painful stimulation in six normal subjects and three patients with complete resection of the corpus callosum are described and compared, with emphasis on the parietal operculum. Stimulus-related cortical activation was investigated by functional magnetic resonance imaging. In both groups, painful stimulation activated the first somatosensory, insular and cingulate cortices in the contralateral hemisphere, and the parietal opercular cortex in both hemispheres. Comparison between the two patterns of cortical activation demonstrated that ipsilateral activation by unilateral painful stimulation is at least partially independent of the corpus callosum and suggests a different organization of the pain and touch systems.

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