Robert Trampel1, Andreas Schfer1, Laurentius Huber1, Robin Martin Heidemann2, Gabriele Lohmann1, Robert Turner1
1Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; 2Siemens AG Healthcare Sector, Erlangen, Germany
The functional properties of the somatosensory system have been intensively studied by functional MRI over the last decades. Somatosensory cortex clearly discriminates touch of self and other objects: one cannot tickle oneself. Using unsmoothed isotropic sub-millimeter fMRI at 7 Tesla, and a paradigm comprising finger tapping and finger movement without fingertip touching, we found an area of robust deactivation in contralateral Brodmann area 3b, consistent with active suppression of somatosensory activity during the anticipation and experience of self-generated touch.