Cortical Diagnostics: Measuring Brain Health through Somatosensation Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Francisco, Eric Matthew
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Over the past several years, a number of unique quantitative tactile based sensory testing methods were designed with the intent of obtaining objective metrics that would be sensitive to alterations in cortical information processing. The design of these tasks was based on information obtained from neurophysiological studies of the nonhuman primate (NHP) cerebral sensory cortical response to a variety of modes of natural skin stimulation, and these NHP studies typically exhibit characteristics of cortical modularity, or cortical-cortical dynamics that occur between adjacent and near-adjacent assemblies of cortical neurons. The initial goal of these studies was to demonstrate cortical correlates of perception by comparing observations of stimulus evoked activity in primary somatosensory cortex of non-human primates, and a secondary goal was to demonstrate that these measures of sensory perception were altered in a predictable fashion with neurological insult. To date, observations consistent with systemic cortical alterations have been made in individuals with neurotrauma (concussion/TBI, stroke), neurodevelopmental disorders (Autism, ADHD, Tourette's, OCD) and chronic pain (migraine, fibromyalgia, VVS, TMJD, carpal tunnel syndrome). One unifying theme of these findings is the role that cortical modularity plays in sensory information processing and that when cortical modularity is disrupted, significant quantifiable deficits in sensory information processing can be detected.
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  • In Copyright
  • Tommerdahl, Mark Allen
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2014

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